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Provost Umphrey Lawsuit Prompts Tire Recall

Provost Umphrey attorneys Paul "Chip" Ferguson and Ryan Schaper reached a confidential settlement with Hercules Tires on May 20, 2014. The lawsuit, first filed in 2012, prompted an internal investigation at Hercules, which then led to a recall in February 2013. It is estimated that over 100,000 tires were recalled due to the investigation. Ferguson and Schaper represented Robert Weaver's 13 year old daughter in the case. Weaver was a passenger in a Dodge pickup that left the roadway when one of its front tires failed. Mr. Weaver died at the scene.

As a result of the defect and Hercules' response when the danger was first realized, the settlement is believed to be one of the largest of its kind. Ferguson says, "While we take great satisfaction in the result achieved for our client, there is an even greater satisfaction in the fact that we were able to do good for the population as a whole. This case helped all Americans by forcing the recall of a dangerous, defective and deadly product from our nation's roadways."

The tire was manufactured by a Chinese company and sold in the U.S. under the Hercules brand name. According to Hercules Tires, seven sizes of the All Trac A/T tire were recalled due to "in-service belt and/or tread separation." The recall affected tires are 10-ply Load Range E sizes of the Hercules All Trac A/T line that were manufactured from late 2008 through October of 2010.

Tire safety remains a serious issue, even after massive recalls from Firestone, Michelin, BFGoodrich, and Hercules in past years. In order for recalls to be effective, the public needs to be informed of them. Often, this is not the case as large amounts of crashes still involve tires that were previously recalled. Research shows that over 500 Americans lose their lives each year as a direct result of tire failure. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make automobile recall information publicly available to consumers on the internet. However, there is no similar mandate for tire recalls. Since the Motor Vehicle Safety Act went into effect in 1966, over 46 million tires have been recalled.

2014 has been a particularly bad year for vehicle safety, with a number of large recalls including the GM Ignition Switch Recall. Provost Umphrey remains committed to those injured by manufacturer defects – both for vehicles and tires.

If you have a case involving a possible tire or vehicle defect, or have questions about recalls, please contact the lawyers at Provost Umphrey at 855-867-0820 or online at www.provostumphrey.com.