Product Liability / Michelin Tires
September 4, 2017 - Confidential
Johnny and Patricia Bates v. Michelin North America, Inc. And Michelin Corporation, U.s. District Court, Northern District Of Georgia, Atlanta Division. On Christmas day 2008, Mr. Bates was paralyzed when a Uniroyal Laredo tire manufactured by Michelin suffered a tread separation and came apart, causing the vehicle to go out of control and roll over. Mr. Bates was driving a GMC Jimmy at the time of the incident. Plaintiffs alleged the tire contained numerous design and manufacturing defects, including the absence of a nylon cap.
The case was plagued by Michelin’s unrelenting and unrepentant discovery abuse leading to a meticulously detailed and documented 60-page order issued by Judge Totenberg finding that Michelin had “engaged in a pattern of subterfuge and withholding relevant and responsive documents,” “acted willfully in violating the Court’s discovery orders,” and “engaged in a pattern of prejudicial discovery abuse …throughout the course of this litigation.” The Court held these serial abuses warranted the substantive sanction of issue preclusion. The case settled for a confidential amount.