ORANGE -- When the car in front of Terri Franklin blew a tire, she was suddenly pummeled by pieces of flying rubber. The shower of debris allegedly caused Franklin to lose control and flip her vehicle.

Franklin claims the tire was negligently manufactured by Firestone and filed suit against the company July 31 in Orange County District Court.

Franklin's suit also faults Ford Motor Co. for equipping the Explorer with the tire, and further names Shannon Franklin, the driver in front of her, as a defendant.

According to the suit, on Aug. 2, 2006, the plaintiff was traveling north on Texas 87 in Port Arthur when Shannon Franklin, who was traveling in a 1992 Ford Explorer a few car lengths in front of her.

The lawsuit faults Firestone for manufacturing the ATX model tire and Ford for equipping it as a spare on its vehicles.

"Both Firestone and Ford placed the tires into the stream of commerce, and the tires … reached the Texas consumer, defendant Shannon Franklin, without change from the time they left the possession of Defendants," the suit says.

The plaintiff says she was injured when her vehicle flipped and is suing for punitive damages, plus past and future mental anguish, medical expenses, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages.

She is represented by Orange attorney David Dies.

The case has been assigned to Judge Buddy Hahn, 260th Judicial District.

Case No. D-080300-c

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