Guardrail maker ordered to pay over $600 million in damages over design issues

06/10/2015 // JusticeNewsFlash // (press release)

Dallas – A Texas company has been ordered by a judge to pay $663 million in damages after failing to reveal changes in the design of highway guardrails to the government. The Associated Press reports Trinity Industries Inc. has said that it plans to appeal the decision.

The company was sued by a competitor on behalf of the federal government, which alleged  that it had defrauded the federal government in not telling regulators that modifications had been made to its ET-Plus guardrails. The rails are designed to help reduce injury risks to car occupants by folding up when hit by a vehicle. Critics say, however, that the change in design turned the ends of the guardrail into dangerous objects. Trinity maintains that they remain safe.

Virginia based Trinity competitor Joshua Harman is set to receive $199 million plus attorney’s fees as a whistle-blower bounty. The federal government is set to receive $464 million.

A spokesman for Trinity Jeff Eller, said of the award, “We believe the evidence clearly shows that no fraud was committed.”

Trinity is also reportedly the subject of multiple wrongful death and securities lawsuits.

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