A Florida jury has ruled unanimously in favour of Michelin North America, Inc., in a high-profile product liability case that included claims filed by three plaintiffs who were involved in a 2009 rollover accident. The crash resulted in catastrophic brain injuries to two minor passengers, ages 14 and 16, and injuries to an adult. In their closing arguments, the plaintiffs’ lawyers asked the jury to award the victims more than $80 million in damages.
While Michelin was cleared of responsibility for the accident, the court ruling pointed to tyre damage and ultimately part worn tyre sales as being behind accident, with the company stating: “Michelin respects the work the jury did to reach its decision. While we sincerely regret this tragic accident and the devastating effects it has had on the Dukes family, the evidence presented throughout the nine-week trial showed that the subject tyre was not defective. Evidence proved that the tyre was well-designed and well-manufactured but had been previously damaged during its service life and then sold used. The case again highlights the inherent risks of purchasing a used tyre. Michelin will continue to vigorously defend the world-class quality of its products and the high-level work of its engineers in these types of cases.”
This latest result follows other recent successes for Michelin in product liability cases, including three dismissals earlier this year in Texas, as well as obtaining a unanimous verdict less than 10 months ago in Arizona.