Cooper Tire Must Pay Out $32.8 Million in Fatal Minivan Rollover Accident


Posted on 24th March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A jury has awarded $32.8 million in damages against Cooper Tire & Robber Co. in a case involving a fatal minivan rollover in Iowa. A jury in Des Moines, Iowa, found that Cooper was liable for the accident, which involved a Chrysler minivan that had Cooper tires on it. The panel determined that the tire that was on the minivan wasn’t “state of the art” when it was designed and made. Lawyers for the plaintiffs maintained that the tire was defective.

Cooper Tire plans to appeal the large jury verdict. The tire maker defended its tires as safe, blaming its failure on its “long-term underinflated operation.”

The Grand Voyager minivan, owned by plaintiff Achol Deng Meiwan, had gotten a nail in it, for some time. The nail was still in the tire after the accident.

The van was filled with co-workers from the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Marshalltown, Iowa.

The jury awarded Ivan Toe, a 39-year-old woman who became a paraplegic from the accident, $28.4 million. Her children are to receive $65,000.

The estate of a woman who lost her life in the accident, Assata Karlar, 28, will get $649,000. Her husband will receive $420,000, with their five children awarded more than $1 million.

Cooper Tire must also pay punitive damages of $1.5 million.