Tagged Articles

guardrail 14 articles

Virginia sues Trinity over potentially deadly guardrails

Virginia has become the first state to take legal action against Trinity industries over its ET-Plus guardrail systems, claiming the manufacturer sold it guardrails that were unapproved, untested, and potentially dangerous to motorists. The state’s complaint was prompted by a lawsuit filed against Trinity by whistleblower Joshua Harman under the federal False Claims Act. Mr. Harman accused Trinity of secretly altering its widely used ET-Plus guardrails in 2005 without the consent or approval of U.S. highway safety regulators. The redesign, Mr. Harman asserted, made the guardrails dangerous, turning them into giant spears that could impale vehicles and their occupants. A federal ... Read More

Guardrail, possibly made by Trinity, was a factor in deadly North Carolina crash

Authorities investigating a car crash in Stokes County, N.C., that killed 17-year-old Taylor Thompson and her sister Megan Davis, 12, say that the guardrail involved in the crash was a factor in the deaths. The sisters were killed shortly before 8 p.m. on Nov. 24 when the 2001 Ford they were passengers in swerved off the road while traveling northbound on U.S. 52 between King and Pinnacle, N.C. The driver, 18-year-old Dokota Goss, apparently overcorrected the vehicle and hit the guardrail. But instead of crumpling and easing the vehicle to a stop, the guardrail impaled the vehicle on the front passenger ... Read More

Verdict in whistleblower guardrail case could be breakthrough for False Claims Act suit

Just because the U.S. government fails to intervene in a False Claims Act case doesn’t mean the lawsuit can’t prevail in court, a fact demonstrated by the $175-million verdict a Texas federal jury handed down this week in a whistleblower case against the nation’s leading guardrail manufacturer. According to the Wall Street Journal, the verdict in whistleblower Josh Harman’s case against Trinity Industries Inc. should serve as a “False Claims Act wake-up call” to companies that contract with or in other ways do business with federal agencies and programs, signaling that even false claims lawsuits without the government’s backing can ... Read More

Texas guardrail maker loses whistleblower case, jury orders company to pay $175 million

A Texas guardrail manufacturer accused by a whistleblower of defrauding the federal government has been ordered to pay $175 million by a federal jury. Dallas-based Trinity industries for years has manufactured guardrail systems for the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), which uses them on highways in most every state. In 2012, whistleblower Josh Harman, a Virginia guardrail installer and safety advocate, sued Trinity under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of secretly changing the design of its government-approved ET-Plus guardrail system. According to Mr. Harman, the redesigned ET-Plus guardrails cost less for Trinity to produce ... Read More