U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ruled that Dallas-based rail transport company Trinity Industries, Inc., would be given 13 hours to defend itself against a $1-billion lawsuit filed by 45-year-old Swords Creek, Virginia resident Joshua Harman over allegations that its guardrails contributed to around 20 deaths, the Insurance Journal reported on July 14. Harman will have the same amount of hours to make his case.
According to court documents filed by Harman, the end of Trinity’s guardrail acts like a giant, dangerous spear point that substantially increases the risk of injury for anyone who collides with it. Trinity, which has a $6.9-billion market capitalization, made earlier statements that the allegations against its guardrails are not warranted, and a company spokesman Jack Todd seemed confident that the company would not lose the trial.
There is a legal history between these two parties. Trinity filed a lawsuit against Harman in 2011 for patent infringement for the latter’s involvement in the manufacture of guardrail systems in Virginia. It was settled confidentially out of court.
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