Three Arizona Department of Corrections employees filed a lawsuit against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Maricopa County Superior Court on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The lawsuit arises out of the April 5, 2013 rollover of a Department of Corrections van on I-10 south of Phoenix.
Jeff Darden, Melissa Fowler and Ritchie Chin suffered injuries in the crash that occurred at MP 173.7.
Although injured himself, Mr. Chin was able to lift the van sufficiently to permit witnesses to pull Ms. Fowler from her position partially trapped beneath the van, which had rolled and ended up on its roof.
The DOC van was transporting a number of DOC employees home to Phoenix after their shifts. Initial investigation disclosed that all the corrections officers were wearing their seatbelts.
The suit, filed by John Osborne of Goldberg & Osborne, alleges that the left rear tire on the van lost its tread because of defects in the tire causing the van’s driver to lose control.
“This case demonstrates again that tire tread losses continue to plague our citizens more than ten years after the Firestone cases,” said Mr. Osborne. “Tread losses occur when they shouldn’t, even when tires are well maintained and relatively new. Tire tread losses are often impossible for drivers to prevent.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the injured workers.