Victims’ families and safety advocates are pushing regulators from
the Federal Highway Administration to rescind its approval of a dangerous
guardrail system that has been linked to a number of serious injuries
and at least seven confirmed deaths on U.S. roadways.
The X-LITE guardrail, manufactured by Lindsay Transportation Solutions,
has come under intense scrutiny after it was discovered that a defective
end terminal can cause the guardrail to fail and malfunction during high-speed
collisions. Instead of buckling and redistributing energy to thrust vehicles
back onto roadways, the faulty guardrails can lock up and impale vehicles,
causing devastating if not fatal injuries.
Over the past two years, officials have connected X-LITE guardrails to
a number of collisions in which vehicle occupants suffered injuries. There
have also been at least seven confirmed fatalities in multiple states
across the country, including a recent tragedy in which a 17-year-old
Tennessee girl was killed when her vehicle collided with a Lindsay X-LITE
guardrail on an interstate median.
The father of that girl has been leading efforts to have faulty X-LITE
guardrails removed from American roadways and replaced with safer, properly
functioning alternatives. His efforts have so far been successful in compelling
the Tennessee Department of Transportation to remove Lindsay X-LITE guardrails
from its qualified products list and initiate a plan for removing and
replacing the guardrails statewide.
Although experts and state officials have confirmed that X-LITE guardrails
failed to function properly in several fatal crashes, Lindsay Transportation
Solutions has publicly maintained that its guardrail system was approved
for use on public roadways after it passed federally-sanctioned crash
tests. That may sound fine for some, but advocates have unearthed evidence
that those crash tests were performed by a lab owned by Lindsay Transportation
The clear conflict of interest in allowing a company to test its own products
in federal crash tests has been a central component of the fight to get
X-LITE guardrails off the road. Additionally, families and advocates are
urging the Federal Highway Administration to rescind federal approval
of X-LITE end terminals in order to further investigate potential defects
and address current standards that enable manufacturer-owned labs to perform
federal safety tests for their own products.
Efforts like those surrounding the X-LITE guardrail call attention to the
fact that public safety should always be a top priority for product manufacturers.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case – especially when corporations
place profits over people. In the past, there have been similar instances
of dangerous guardrails that were not fit for public use. This includes
the ET-Plus guardrail manufactured by Trinity Industries, which had been
linked to numerous injuries and deaths. In a noteworthy whistleblower
lawsuit, Trinity was ordered to pay $663 in penalties for defrauding the
federal government after it was discovered the company made modifications
to the guardrail without informing regulators and did not adequately test
Ultimately, product manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure their products
are safe for their intended use by the public. When they defectively design
or manufacture a product, or fail to properly test it, those products
pose considerable risks to innocent consumers. Fortunately, victims injured
by defective and unsafe products have the legal right to pursue a recovery
of their damages under product liability laws. Because these cases are
difficult and because they involve large corporations that work diligently
to mitigate their losses and pay victims as little as possible, they demand
the attention of experienced attorneys.
At Biren Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are passionate
about protecting the rights and futures of injured victims and families
who have lost loved ones in preventable accidents. Our breadth of experience
enables our legal team to effectively advocate for victims harmed by defective
products, and to level the playing field between clients and the massive
corporate powers they face off against. Our relentless commitment has
driven our ability to secure more than half a billion dollars in compensation
for our clients. Let us put our passion to work for you.
If you have questions regarding product-related injuries, or a product-related
wrongful death, do not hesitate to contact our firm for a FREE, no-obligation