Cooper Tire Maker Sued For Fatal Florida Wreck That Killed Four Students


Posted on 13th June 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A negligence lawsuit alleges that a faulty Cooper  tire was to blame for an accident that killed four Jacksonville, Fla., high school students last year, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The suit was filed by the family of one of the teenagers killed in the accident, and it named Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. and three others as defendants.

The fatal crash took place on Interstate 295 on the last day of school in 2009 for Ed White High School. The students were heading to the beach in an Explorer SUV when its left rear tire had a blowout, causing the crash. 

Four students died and four others were injured when the tread of their Explorer’s left rear tire separated. The tire was a Cooper Cobra, and the suit alleges that Cooper’s manufacturing techniques make the treads of its tires more prone to separating.

The lawyer for one of the teens that died, 16-year-old Shannon Bloom, said that Cooper has had many cases of its tires separating, causing accidents. There are numerous negligence suits pending against the tire maker.

 A spokesman for Cooper Tire told The Times-Union that the fatal accident wasn’t caused by his company’s tires or their design. The tire maker pointed out that the Explorer involved in the Florida accident is only supposed to seat five people.

But the day of the accident, the Explorer had nine people on board, and only one was wearing a seat belt, the driver Brandon Hodges. Cooper Tire also pointed out that Hodges didn’t have a driver’s license at the time of the accident.

Hodges, 16, has been charged with driving without a license causing death. He is awaiting trial.

Accident victim Bloom’s attorney contends that he can prove that the crash would have happened even if an experienced driver had been behind the wheel.

The Explorer was owned by the parents of one of the teens hurt in the crash, Rebecca Pilkington, 16.  The SUV had been in for service about two weeks before the crash, and a Cooper distributor, Big Chief’s Tire Co., replaced two of its tires.   






Prompted By The Travis Barker Plane Crash, Federal Officials Order Frequent Learjet Tire Checks


Posted on 9th June 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Underinflated tires not only cause car accidents, they can cause planes to crash. 

That’s why federal regulators have established stricter rules regarding the tire pressure on Learjets. It’s an attempt  to prevent a fatal plane crash like the one involving Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker and the disc jockety DJ AM in 2008.

The Federal Aviation Administration put out a directive Tuesday that orders U.S. operators of more than 200 model 60 Learjet business aircraft to do landing-gear inspections more often.

Underinflated tires have proven to be dangerous, and were cited as one of the causes of a crash of a charter Learjet carrying Travis and DJ AM in Columbia, S.C., as it tried to take off in September 2008. Travis and DJ AM were hurt, and four people died in the accident.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the tires on the jet’s main landing gear were underinflated, and that the tires fell apart during the takeoff. Their pressure hadn’t been checked in three weeks.

Shards from the tires struck the Learjet’s brakes and hydraulic lines, disrupting other systems in the jet. That resulted in the pilot being unable to stop the plane, and it sped off the runway and crashed.

Under the new FAA rules, the tires on Learjet 60 model will have to be checked every four days.

The federal agency was aware that underinflated tires posed a safety hazard. A year ago the FAA put out a safety  alert that told pilots to pay attention to tire pressure.