An Iowa jury has found that Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., the second-biggest U.S. tiremaker, is largely responsible for the fatal rollover of a minivan in 2007. The jury found that the Cooper tire that failed on the 1997 Chrysler Corp. minivan wasn’t state-of-the art when it was designed and manufactured. A total of $32.8 million was awarded to the Plaintiffs. Of the total, jurors awarded $28.4 million to Ivon Toe, a 39-year-old woman rendered quadriplegic in the accident.
Punitive damages of $1.5 million were also assessed against Cooper and is included in the total verdict. Documents that were devastating to Cooper’s case were introduced during the trial in which Cooper Tire executives discussed tire failure rates and the cost of remediation. The company delayed making needed changes to its products for more than four years. Wesley Todd Ball and Kyle Farrar, lawyers with the firm of Farrar & Ball in Houston, Texas, represented the Plaintiffs and did a very good job.
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