Wal-Mart Verdict

Greg Allen, of the law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., obtained a $4 million verdict in Montgomery County, Alabama.  The case involved a tire tread separation on a Ford Expedition which caused the SUV to roll over and crush the roof of the vehicle.  Carolyn Thorne was left paralyzed as a result. 

Why was Wal-Mart a defendant?  Continental Tire Company of North America had issued a recall for the particular tire.  Notwithstanding the recall, the employees of Wal-Mart, who serviced Ms. Thorne’s Expedition on nine (9) occasions AFTER the recall, failed to notify her of the problem.  Apparently, Wal-Mart has a policy of only disclosing recalls on tires if Wal-Mart sold the tire.

Here is another occasion where a small effort could have prevented a huge injury.  Various government web sites show all of the product recalls (many appear on this blog).  All a company has to do is access its computers.  How much time would it have taken for Wal-Mart to check the model of Ms. Thorne’s tires in order to determine if a recall had been issued?  In fact, the Wal-Mart service department could probably have a notification automatically sent to them when a product has been recalled.  Ms. Thorne put her trust in Wal-Mart to properly service her tires.  She thought they were the professionals.  Unfortunately, for her and her family, Wal-Mart did as many companies do:  put the minimum effort into their service for the maximum price.


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