Tire Defects And Failures

Tires are the primary contact between our vehicles and the road. In order for tires to have optimal performance, certain tires should be used on specific vehicles and should be inflated according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When a tire is defective, innocent people can get seriously injured or killed. Often when a tire blows out, vehicles roll over or lose control and spin out causing a crash.

Most of us have heard of the major tire recall in 2000 by Bridgestone Firestone that affected Ford Explorers. Sadly, officials have estimated that there were approximately 3,000 injuries and 250 fatalities associated with these defective tires. In this situation, the tread peeled off certain tires causing the Explorer to roll over and crush the occupants in the SUV.

As this recall received a good amount of attention, more and more lawsuits were brought against the manufacturer and many regulatory groups and government safety organizations started conducting investigations that have remained ongoing. One such group that continues to post monthly recall reports on defective tires is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  NHTSA is a good source of information regarding current tire recalls.

Tire defects continue to be a problem. When tires fail, traffic accidents are very likely to occur and serious injuries or fatalities can occur as a result. If you or someone you love has been injured in an Iowa car crash and you believe it was due to defective tires, contact a products liability lawyer today.

Advertisements

SOCIAL HOST LIABILITY FOR ALCOHOL-RELATED INJURIES

During this time of year many people are entertaining at their homes.  Those gatherings may include the provision of alcohol by the host or by guests who bring alcohol with them.  Hosts need to be careful in those situations because there is the potential for personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage liability against the host if someone is hurt.  Here are three examples that may arise:

1.    A guest hurts someone else on the premises.  This is a tricky situation because it may depend on exactly what the guest did, whether the guest had consumed alcohol, and, if so,  whether the alcohol was provided by the host or by someone else.  The possibility of  liability increases with both the severity of the guest’s conduct and the host’s opportunity to prevent it.

Oddly, because of Iowa’s social host immunity law (Iowa Code 123.49(1)(a)), a host may not be responsible for on-premises injuries if they were the result of the guest’s intoxication from alcohol that the host provided.  Iowa Code 123.49(1)(a) gives immunity from alcohol-related injuries to persons, including social hosts, that do not hold an  alcoholic beverage license or permit.  That immunity only seems to apply if the social host provided the alcohol to the guest.  Thus, if a guest arrives already intoxicated, is not     served any alcohol by the host, and hurts someone on the premises, the host may be liable because the host did not give the guest alcohol; rather the guest consumed alcohol elsewhere.

2.    A guest leaves in a vehicle and hurts or kills themselves or someone else in another car or on a motorcycle in an alcohol-related accident.  In that situation the host is almost certainly immune from liability if the  sole allegation against the host stems from the provision of alcohol to the guest.  In that case Iowa Code 123.49(1)(a) likely immunizes the host from liability.  That is in contrast with a business that has an alcoholic beverage license or permit, which would face dram shop liability in such a situation.

3.    Provision of alcohol to someone under legal age for consumption of alcohol.  A host may be liable if it provides or allows the provision of alcohol to an underage guest, who then hurts themselves or someone else after leaving the host’s premises.  The Iowa Supreme     Court has determined that Iowa Code 123.49(1)(a)’s social host immunity does not prevent social host liability when the alcohol is provided to someone who is underage.   The Iowa Supreme Court has also suggested that a host’s liability for provision of alcohol to an underage guest may also extend to incidents that happen on the premises.