Cooper Tire sued after man dies when vehicle rolls over after tire tread separation

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 6, 2010, 7:35am

MARSHALL-A Chicago resident is suing Cooper Tire after her husband received fatal injuries in a crash allegedly caused when the tread separated from a tire.

Rosemary Jackson Johnson, individually and as legal heir to the estate of Henry Johnson, deceased, filed suit against Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. on Aug. 24 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The incident occurred on June 19 as Henry Johnson was driving a 2002 GMC Yukon on Interstate Highway 30 near Mount Vernon.

According to the lawsuit, the tread from the back left tire, a Future Adventurer H/T tire, separated and caused Johnson to lose control of his vehicle.

Rosemary Johnson claims her husband's death was due to the allegedly defective tire. According to the complaint, the tire failed because of a separation of the tread and outer belt caused by insufficient bonding between the layers of stock and insufficient aging resistance in the rubber.

Johnson argues the tire was unreasonably dangerous, the design inferior, the construction and affixing methods flawed, the materials sub-par and strength of the materials questionable.

The defendant is accused of failing to advise, warn or instruct owners and users of the dangers and possibilities of injury associated with tire tread separation and/or blowing out. Allegations also include negligent design and manufacture and breach of express warranty.

On behalf of the deceased, the lawsuit is seeking damages for disfigurement, conscious physical and emotional pain, torment, mental anguish and emotional distress.

Rosemary Johnson is seeking damages for loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advise, counsel, loss of pecuniary contributions, loss of companionship and society, loss of consortium, mental anguish, loss of inheritance, medical, funeral and burial expenses, interest and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by E. Todd Tracy and I. Scott Lidji of The Tracy Firm in Dallas.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv00309

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