Court rules in favour of Michelin in $20 million lawsuit
In a unanimous verdict handed down on 19 November, a jury in the US state of Arizona found in favour of Michelin North America on all claims relating to a product liability lawsuit filed by plaintiff Kimberly Allen. The verdict followed a three-week trial in the Arizona State Court.
In the lawsuit against Michelin, Allen and her attorneys alleged that a defective Uniroyal tire, which was manufactured by Michelin at its plant in Ardmore, Oklahoma, was the reason for a single-vehicle rollover accident on 8 October. The plaintiff demanded US$20 million in compensatory and punitive damages, claiming a faulty tyre separated, caused the accident and resulted in severe injuries.
Michelin successfully showed that the tread separation on the Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP preceded the accident and was caused by a number of factors, including an improperly repaired puncture days before the accident as well as chronic under-inflation of the tyre. The jury determined there was no proof of product liability, and Michelin was found faultless on all claims.
Michelin North America states that it “appreciates the jury’s decision in this case, which also highlights the critical importance of proper inflation and safe tyre maintenance.” The tyre maker adds that it will “continue to vigorously defend its reputation and quality in cases that it knows are without merit.”