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Families, Advocates Push Federal Regulators to Remove X-LITE Guardrails Following Deaths

Families, Advocates Push Federal Regulators to Remove X-LITE Guardrails Following Deaths

Road and RailVictims’ 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 Solutions.

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 their products.

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 consultation.

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