Eisenberg Rothweiler secures $3.1 million jury verdict for client against Kumho Tire USA

On September 29, Daniel Sherry, Jr., along with co-counsel from Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball, secured a $3.08 million unanimous jury verdict in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, for a truck driver who was severely injured when the left front tire on his fully loaded dump truck, a tire manufactured by Kumho Tire USA, separated while he was driving the truck, causing it to crash and roll over.

After a two-week trial, the jury found that the tires on our client’s truck were defective and should not have been on the market.

Our client, Milford Stevens was driving for Thomas Construction in September 2014 when the tread on the left front tire on his dump truck separated. At the time, Mr. Stevens was driving at highway speeds on U.S. 422 near Muddy Creek Township. The tire’s failure caused his 2007 Mack Truck to flip over. As a result of the accident, Mr. Stevens suffered serious neurological and physical injuries, including fractures to his vertebrae, head, and face.

During trial, Dan and his co-counsel argued the tire’s design was defective and the tire should not have been sold. Among other defects, the tire’s belts did not have adequate protection to prevent the tire from prematurely failing due to oxidation.

The jury found that the tire was defective in its design, and not because of a manufacturing defect. It awarded Mr. Stevens approximately $256,000 for past medical expenses, $554,000 for his future life care plan, and $400,000 for past and future loss of household services, plus $1.8 million in noneconomic damages.

“Despite the tire passing a Pennsylvania State Police Level 2 commercial vehicle inspection three working days before the crash, Kumho Tire still thought the jury would believe that the tire, which was specifically marketed for severe service use, was worn out and abused to such a degree that no reasonable person would ever think it could be roadworthy,” said Dan. “With its verdict, the jury sent a loud and clear message to Kumho Tire and other tire manufacturers that juries will not hesitate to find tires to be defective in their design and hold manufacturers responsible for the serious injuries those defective tires cause.”

The verdict was covered by Law360.com, The Legal Intelligencer, and Tire Business Magazine.