PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La.—A judge in a Louisiana state court ordered Sept. 10 that Goodyear pay a total of $7.2 million to the family and employer of a man who was killed in a February 2014 accident involving a Goodyear G182 tire.
Elwood Breaux Jr., an employee of the Plaquemines Parish Government, was inflating a G182 tire on his garbage truck when there was a zipper failure in the sidewall.
The explosive failure caused Breaux massive internal injuries, of which he died 28 days later, according to the Sept. 10 judgment issued by Judge Michael D. Clement.
Goodyear's product service bulletins warned of tire failures caused by underinflation, overloading or improper mounting.
However, Breaux's fellow employees and an executive of the parish government testified at the trial that they were never given any product service bulletins and had never heard of zipper failures before the one that killed Breaux, the judgment said.
"Their testimony establishes that Goodyear failed to warn them of the specific danger that inflating an underinflated tire could result in the tire exploding," Clement wrote.
Clement awarded Breaux's widow and six children a total of $6.67 million. He also awarded Plaquemines Parish Government more than $481,000 for reimbursement of costs it incurred because of the accident.
A Goodyear spokesman said the company is disappointed with the verdict and will appeal.