Groups Line Up to Back Goodyear Appeal - Tire Review Magazine

Groups Line Up to Back Goodyear Appeal

Goodyear has attracted considerable support for its appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court over that court’s June ruling upholding a $32.2 million product liability judgment against the tiremaker.

The state’s top court, by a 6-1 margin, upheld a jury trial’s judgment resulting from a 2004 accident that killed three people and injured seven others.

A number of manufacturing and business groups have filed papers on Goodyear’s behalf, including National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, the American Tort Reform Association, the American Insurance Association, the American Chemistry Council, and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

During the original trial, Goodyear was accused of stalling and obstructing, and the trial court judge ruled the tiremaker could not challenge its liability in the case, making it impossible to defend itself. The jury quickly found for the plaintiffs and leveled the $32.2 million judgment.

In a statement issued after the supreme court ruling, Goodyear said: “At the original trial, the facts showed the tire’s failure was due to significant road hazard damage that occurred before the accident and not the result of any defect in the tire. In fact, when Goodyear was allowed to present its case to the jury, it ruled in Goodyear’s favor and did not award punitive damages. However, due to a procedural ruling having nothing to do with the tire, the trial court denied Goodyear the opportunity to present its defense and the judge instructed the jury to consider the company liable for compensatory damages. Goodyear agrees with the dissenting opinion in the Nevada Supreme Court that the original trial subjected Goodyear to a ‘sentence first – verdict afterwards’ approach and denied the company due process – which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”

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