Victims of a deadly church bus crash in Tennessee have filed a lawsuit against the maker of the tire that was found to be the cause of the crash. A lawsuit was filed in Iredell County Court by members of Front Street Baptist Church. A bus from the church was involved in a deadly crash along Interstate 40 last October. Eight people were killed in the collision with six of them being members of the church.
The lawsuit was filed by 12 survivors of the crash and executors of the estates of five people killed in the wreck. The crash occurred Oct. 2 on I-40. The driver of an 18-wheeler and the passenger in a SUV were also killed in the crash. Following an investigation, the Tennessee Highway Patrol announced in April the wreck was caused by a tire blowout.
The lawsuit alleges that the tire was “negligently and defectively manufactured and designed,” saying it “failed to meet the reasonable expectations of an ordinary consumer as to its safety.” The investigation shows that the 1997 Metrotrans Europa Motorcoach, owned by Front Street Baptist Church, had a left-front tire failure that caused the driver to lose control.
The maker of the tire, New Jersey-based Hankook Tire, was named as a Defendant in the lawsuit. The lawsuit also names the estate of Randy Morrison, a member of the church who was driving the bus, as a Defendant. His wife, Barbara, was killed in the crash and her estate is listed as one of the Plaintiffs in the case. Twelve other church members were injured.
The lawsuit claims Mr. Morrison “maintained and operated the bus as his ministry to Front Street Baptist Church.” The lawsuit claims Hankook failed to warn consumers about “the dangerous characteristics” of the tire, even though they “had knowledge of such hazards, risks, and dangers.” The group was returning from the 17th Annual Fall Jubilee at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. During the initial investigation, troopers said the bus veered across the median and into oncoming traffic after a tire blew out, hitting a sport utility vehicle and a tractor-trailer, which caught fire. It’s alleged in the lawsuit that the tire, purchased in September 2008:
suffered a sudden, catastrophic, and complete tread/belt separation. The tread/belt separation was caused because the subject Hankook tire, which was manufactured at Hankook’s Geumsan plant in the Republic of Korea, was defective.
The survivors claim in the lawsuit that no one felt any sort of impact with “a road hazard” before the deadly crash. The lawsuit claims the survivors incurred “significant medical expenses” from their injuries and continue to suffer from the injuries they sustained. For the five who died, the lawsuit claims they experienced “pre-impact shock, fright, and terror, and consciously suffered” prior to their deaths.
Source: Charlotte Observer
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