WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (March 26, 2008) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said it will appeal a West Palm Beach jury decision awarding $750,000 to the widow of a man who died when his minivan crashed after a blowout.
Louissaint Pierre, 52, and another man died June 2005 when a Cooper Radial XL tire, size P205/75R14, had a blowout and caused the accident. Tavilia Pierre and her attorney, Greg Zele, claimed the Cooper tire was defective, but Cooper said the tire was so worn out its steel belts were showing.
The jury awarded Tavilia Pierre $1.5 million but reduced the award by half, deciding that Louissaint Pierre was 35 percent at fault for failing to maintain his vehicle and the driver (who wasn't Pierre) was 15 percent at fault.
“No tire is intended to be driven on its internal components,” a Cooper spokeswoman said, about her company's decision to appeal. “The jury verdict was not in keeping with the weight of the evidence.”