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Defective Products: Are There Malfunctioning Guardrails on Tennessee Highways?

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Frighteningly, numerous news outlets have reported that a guardrail found on several Tennessee highways designed to help prevent disastrous vehicle accidents may be defective.

According to WSMV-TV, there are more than 20 of the guardrails in the Nashville-Metro area alone. “We are worried because we have learned that there has been concern across the country that the products aren’t working,” Metro Public Works Department engineering director Mark Macy told the station.

The guardrail being questioned is the ET-Plus End Terminal, which the Tennessee Department of Transportation said is widely used across the state. Trinity Industries, a Texas company, manufactures it.

The guardrails allegedly may break off during accidents instead of deflecting energy during impact. In one case, a man in North Carolina claimed that the guardrail pierced his SUV, severing both of his legs.

Trinity Industries has reportedly been sued more than a dozen times for personal injury claims and is facing several wrongful death lawsuits. One lawsuit involves a woman in East Tennessee who died after she was penetrated by the device, causing massive internal bleeding.

Macy claimed that the device in question is narrower than previous version manufactured by the company. “Trinity used to build this five inches wide. Now it’s four inches. Why? We don’t know,” Macy said, according to WSMV.

TDOT estimates there are 12,900 ET-Plus End Terminals on state roads and interstates.


As this story shows, defective products can have disastrous consequences. Keep in mind, if a defective product has caused you harm, you can hold the manufacturer liable.

This includes instances when there are design defects—for example, if you were hurt when a product was used in a way that designers should have foreseen and it failed, you may have a claim.

For free attorney advice about a manufacturer liability case, contact our office. Our attorney holds manufacturers that produce and sell goods responsible for the safety of their products.

“For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.”
– Psalms 33:4

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