The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to rehear its decision to uphold a $32.2 million judgment against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. The case involved a single-car accident that killed three people and injured seven others. The Court, in a 6-1 decision, said it did not overlook any material facts or misapply the law, upholding rulings of the trial court.
During pre-trial maneuvering, Judge Sally Loehrer ruled Goodyear failed to produce a witness and gave improper responses to interrogatories. The Judge said Goodyear took the tactic of “stalling, obstructing and objecting.” As a sanction, Judge Loehrer ruled Goodyear could not present a defense of liability, but only could argue to the jury the amount of compensatory damages. The 2004 accident occurred near Moab, Utah, on an interstate highway when a tire on the car blew out and the vehicle overturned. Three persons were killed.
The surviving relatives and guardians of children involved filed suit against Goodyear, Ford Motor Co. and Valley View Hitch & Truck Rental. Ford and Valley View settled their claims. The jury granted $32.2 million in compensatory damages. Goodyear appealed the decision, claiming its due process rights had been violated and that the jury award was excessive. Simultaneously, the Plaintiffs appealed, claiming the circuit court erred in not allowing punitive damages. In a majority decision, the state Supreme Court denied both appeals.
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