BEAUMONT, Texas (Aug. 28, 2009)—Survivors of a man killed in a 2003 auto accident have filed suit in the Eastern District of Texas federal court against Dunlop Ltd. and Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd., seeking as much as $30 million in damages.
Raul Esquivel Navarrete, 23, was one of six passengers in a vehicle traveling on Interstate 30 near Hooks, Texas, on Aug. 23, 2003. A Dunlop Load Range E tire on the vehicle allegedly failed, causing the vehicle to roll over. All six passengers were injured, and Esquivel died of his injuries.
Esther Chavez filed suit Aug. 17 on behalf of Esquivel's minor son, Jose Carlos Esquivel Chavez. Among other things, the suit alleges the Dunlop tire was inherently defective because it did not have a nylon cap to reduce heat degradation along the belt edge, and also that it had been improperly handled and stored.
The suit claims there was a “safer alternative design” that Dunlop could have used and that would have prevented the accident.
Chavez seeks general and special damages of $1 million to $6 million against Dunlop and Goodyear, and exemplary damages of $4 million to $24 million. Neither Dunlop officials nor Chavez's attorneys could immediately be reached for comment.