FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2018
Contact:Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
WHEEL FALLS OFF WHILE DRIVING – QPWB DEFENSE FIGHTS OFF A
HOST OF CLAIMS FOR INJURIES
Defective Product Installation, Negligence
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. ― Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. trial attorney David M. Tarlow, managing partner of the Fort Lauderdale office, received a defense verdict from the District Court of Sioux Falls South Dakota.
On December 7, 2014, Ruby Anderson (then age 46) took her pickup truck to a tire retailer for tire service. A new tire was installed on the right/front rim and the vehicle’s spare tire was moved to the left/front axle. Store video showed that the tire technicians torqued the lug nuts three times and drove the vehicle in a figure “8” in accordance with store policy.
Ms. Anderson was driving the vehicle one week later accompanied by her two adult children. The left/front wheel detached from her truck and Ms. Anderson brought the vehicle to a stop on the roadway striking no object. Her daughters looked for the detached wheel, but could not find it because it was dark outside. The daughters returned the next day and found the wheel next to the road.
Ms. Anderson claims that her vehicle “tipped to the left” when the wheel fell off and this caused her to hit her head and shoulder against the driver’s door window. She did not hit the window hard enough to break the glass, and she did not lose consciousness.
Ms. Anderson left the accident scene and went to work at her third-shift job. Later that day she began to not feel well and got a ride to a local emergency room. She was diagnosed with a head contusion, but alleges the impact caused post-concussion syndrome resulting in a host of symptoms that include poor memory, chronic multifactorial headaches, dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, sleep disturbance, fatigue, poor stamina, irritability and altered mood, aggravation of her pre-existing post-traumatic stress disorder, and neck pain due to aggravation of pre-existing cervical problems. Her medical bills total approximately $60,000. Plaintiff claimed she couldn’t work and needed Botox injections to alleviate pain associated with chronic headaches.
Ms. Anderson alleges that the retailer was negligent because it did not remove rust and corrosion on rim prior to installing it. The rust and corrosion prevented the lug nuts from properly seating against the rim. The defense agreed that the wheel Ms. Anderson produced in the litigation would have likely detached due to an unacceptable amount of rust and corrosion, but the retailer disputed this was the wheel installed by the retailer.
A retained defense tire expert testified that the wheel Ms. Anderson produced in the lawsuit is not the wheel the retailer had installed; the tread pattern on the tire Ms. Anderson produced differs greatly from the tread pattern on the tire seen in the store video.
Ms. Anderson’s explanation was her daughters mistakenly picked up the wrong wheel when they returned to the incident scene the next day to find the wheel.
The defense to Ms. Anderson’s alleged injuries was two-fold: First, even though the emergency room records state that Ms. Anderson suffered a concussion; even if she did then it would have been a mild concussion that would have resolved within a few weeks. Second, the symptoms Ms. Anderson claims were caused by the incident are non-existent, or nothing more than a continuation of a host of pre-existing issues Ms. Anderson has had for years.
After 2 hours of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict finding no negligence.
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David M. Tarlow is the managing partner of the Fort Lauderdale office. He is an expert in civil litigation and is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Education and Specialization and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the area of Civil Trials. His practice includes all aspects of insurance and general liability defense, product liability, wrongful death, personal injury defense, premise liability, automobile liability, negligent security, legal malpractice, and insurance coverage disputes and bad faith litigation. Tarlow received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law and is admitted to practice law in Florida and in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
About QPWB – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority and women owned law firm in the nation with more than 370 lawyers serving clients from 21 offices in the United States and abroad across a spectrum of industries in over 40 areas of practice. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.