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Product Liability Case Ends in Michelin's Favor

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In a unanimous verdict, a jury in Lake Havasu City, (Mohave County) Ariz., recently found in favor of Michelin North America Inc., on all claims relating to a product liability lawsuit filed against the company by the plaintiff, Kimberly Allen.

The three-week trial was heard in Arizona State Court. The verdict was handed down on Nov. 19.

In the lawsuit, Allen and her attorneys alleged that a defective Uniroyal tire -- manufactured by Michelin at its plant in Ardmore, Okla. -- was the reason for a single-vehicle rollover accident on Oct. 8, 2011, in Arizona. The plaintiff demanded $20 million in compensatory and punitive damages, claiming a faulty tire separated, caused the accident and resulted in severe injuries.

Michelin successfully showed that the tread separation on the Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP preceded the accident and was caused by a number of factors, including an improperly repaired puncture days before the accident as well as chronic under inflation of the tire. The jury determined there was no proof of product liability, and Michelin was found faultless on all claims.

Michelin says the jury's decision in this case highlights "the critical importance of proper inflation and safe tire maintenance."

The company adds it "will continue to vigorously defend its reputation and quality in cases that it knows are without merit."

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