Employer, Tire Maker Share $1.2M Verdict In Explosion Suit

A Mississippi federal jury has reached a $1.28 million verdict in a mechanic’s suit against Asian Tire Factory Ltd. alleging the company failed to warn him about a faulty tire that exploded and injured him.

The jury found Asian Tire 26.6% at fault for the accident that injured Charles Thomas Pettway, at the same time finding that his employer at the time, Cal-Maine Foods Inc., was 69.7% at fault and Pettway 3.6% at fault.

Pettway worked as a mechanic for Cal-Maine and on June 23, 2017, he was mounting a Farm King tire made by Asian Tire when it suddenly exploded, causing him a number of injuries, including an “extreme gash” on his left arm, a lacerated spleen, bruised intestines, internal bleeding, and an artery explosion in his arm.

Cal-Maine joined in the suit as a plaintiff, seeking to recoup the amount it paid to Pettway in workers’ compensation. The complaint also named the makers and distributors of the rim that Pettway was mounting the tire to, but they were dismissed from the suit prior to it reaching trial.

\Pettway alleged the tire did not list the maximum inflation pressure on the tire’s sidewall and as a result, Pettway inadvertently overinflated the tire. The jury found that Pettway and Cal-Maine proved the elements of their failure to warn.

Asian Tire argued Cal-Maine had failed to train Pettway and did not provide safety equipment required by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Asian Tire is responsible for $342,791 out of the $1.28 million, while Cal-Maine is exempt from the judgment because of the state’s workers’ compensation law.

LAW360: https://www.law360.com/articles/1436541/employer-tire-maker-share-1-2m-verdict-in-explosion-suit

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