SE Texas Record

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Bridgestone, Ford sued after fatal Explorer rollover

By Whitney Brakken | Feb 20, 2014

A family is suing after a fatal collision killed a man.

Natividad Cardenas Cejas, individually and as next friend of Jennifer Alessandra Cardenas and Ivan Cardenas, minor children, and on behalf of the Estate of Rafael Torres Cardenas, deceased, Rafael Cardenas, Sandra Patricia Cardenas, Christian Alejandro Cardenas, Abram Cardenas Batancurt and Jovita Torres Damian, individually, filed a lawsuit Feb. 12 in the Jefferson County District Court.

The defendants are Antonio Lopez Espinoza, Bridgestone Americas Inc., Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Inc. and Ford Motor Co. The complaint cites strict product liability, negligence, gross negligence and breach of express and implied warranties.

According to the complaint, on Jan. 20, 2006, Rafael Torres Cardenas was a passenger traveling southbound with defendant Espinoza in a 1995 Ford Explorer on Highway 85 when the vehicle's front right tire failed, causing the vehicle to go out of control.

The plaintiffs state Espinoza failed to regain control of the vehicle and it flipped over, killing Rafael Torres Cardenas.

The plaintiffs contend the tire was defective and unreasonably dangerous and the Ford Explorer was defectively designed and marketed.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $1 million.

They are being represented in the case by David E. Harris of Sico, White, Hoelscher Harris & Braugh LLP and Raymond L. Thomas of Kittleman Thomas PLLC.

Jefferson County District Court Case No. A195-335


This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Jefferson County District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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