Defective Tire Lawsuit Can Proceed in Arizona Even if Rollover Accident Occurred in Mexico, Says Court

The Arizona Court of Appeals says that a local woman who was hurt and lost her mother and daughter in a Mexico car accident can sue Continental Tire North America in the state of Arizona. Attorneys for the tire company wanted the auto products liability lawsuit to be argued in Mexico where the rollover accident happened.
Court documents state that the car accident victim, Maria Pozo Parra, was driving her motor vehicle in Yuma County when the tread in one of her tires separated. Pozo Parra then lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over. She and three other passengers were ejected from the auto. They all sustained injuries. Pozo Parra’s mother and one of her daughters were killed in the rollover accident. She is suing the tire maker and the dealer that she bought the tire from for products liability.
As part of their argument that the case be tried abroad, the defendants claimed that the Arizona tire defects lawsuit had a “tenuous” connection to the state. The tire dealer is based in Arizona.
A judge in Maricopa County Superior Court agreed with the defendants and tossed out the Arizona defective tire lawsuit. Appellate Judge Diane Johnsen, however, said that the defendants’ arguments could not overcome Arizona law, which lets plaintiffs decide where they want to file their civil claims.
Tire Tread Separation
Tire tread separation can lead to tire blowouts, which can cause a motorist to lose control of the vehicle. This can result in deadly rollover accidents and other kinds of auto collisions. A tire blow out can be especially dangerous when the vehicle is traveling at high speeds or if the auto, such as many sport utility vehicles, has a high gravity center.
Defective design or manufacturing defects are two common causes of tire tread separation. Examples of common tire design defects:

  • Insufficient nylon overlays
  • Deficient skim stock

Some causes of tire manufacturing defects:

  • Poor adhesion or bonding of tire components
  • Poor quality control

Yuma tire lawsuit OK’d for Arizona, Yuma Sun, August 14, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Parra V. Continental Tire
Tire Defects, Safercar.gov