WALKER COUNTY, Ga. (April 12, 2012)—Bridgestone Americas Inc. has settled a wrongful death lawsuit before the Walker County Circuit Court, the tire maker said.
Leonard Heavrin, a retired Indiana banker, and his wife Nancy were traveling through Tennessee on Nov. 10, 2005, on the way to visit family in Georgia and Florida. On Interstate 24 near Manchester, Tenn., a Ford F-250 pickup driven by William Chastain of Walker County went out of control when a Firestone Steeltex Radial R4S II tire on the left front of the truck suffered a tread separation.
Chastain's truck crossed the median and struck the Heavrins' vehicle, killing them instantly.
The terms of the March 21 settlement are confidential, according to George Fryhofer III, the Atlanta attorney who represented the Heavrins' estate.
“Though nothing can bring their loved ones back, we are hopeful that this settlement can finally bring some closure to the Heavrin family,” Fryhofer said in a news release.
Bridgestone denied any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.
“We very much regret the loss of life and injuries in this tragic accident, but maintain that the tire in question de-treaded as a result of abuse and lack of proper maintenance,” the company said.