Family sues rental car agency over retread tires

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 15, 2009, 5:00am

MARSHALL – A father and son were traveling along the interstate in east Texas in a rented 2005 Ford box van when they claim the tread separated from one of the tires causing the van to lose control and strike several trees.

David and Brandon Smith filed a personal injury lawsuit against Avis Budget Group Inc., PV Holding Corp. and Budget Car Rental LLC in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The plaintiffs believe that the rental companies sanctioned and approved the use of retread tires on their rental trucks in an effort to be more profitable.

The plaintiffs argue the defendants are negligent for placing a recapped tire on the box van, failing to advise that a recapped tire had been placed on the Budget truck, failing to allocate monies necessary to put on new tires and "making a conscious decision to expose customers, including David and Brandon Smith to the unreasonable and unnecessary risk of a detread by placing a recapped tire on the subject box truck."

"Defendants Avis Budget Group Inc., PV Holding Corp. and Avis Budget Car Rental LLC by making the conscious decision to use retread tires put their corporate bottom line ahead of personal safety, and such conduct constitutes negligence and gross neglect," the complaint states.

The complaint argues that the defendants should have known that he use of retread tries is discouraged because of a "known propensity to suffer catastrophic detreads."

The Smiths are seeking more than $75,000 in damages for physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.

Corpus Christi attorneys Brantley W. White of the law firm Sico, White, Hoelscher and Braugh LLP is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:09cv00309

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