Truck Accident Case

We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.

Tire Defect Accidents Attorney

Stephenson Rife is one of the leading law firms nationwide to litigate accident claims caused by tire failures. The following accident case summaries outline the tragedy of lost lives and destroyed families due to product defects and tire separation.

Our attorneys are proud to have represented these families and aid with their recovery.

J.M. and His Wife

Tire Tread Separation

A large chain tire retailer sold an “almost new” eight year old tire to an unsuspecting buyer in Nevada. As the young man was driving his Ford Bronco along a two-lane state road, the tire failed causing him to lose control and go left of center striking a motorcycle killing J.M. and his wife.

Stephenson Rife, an experienced Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer, was hired and went to Nevada to examine the wreck and the tire. The family had been advised initially that the age of the tire would prevent the successful prosecution of a wrongful death action against the manufacturer. Thorough research and the employment of national experts led to the conclusion that the original assessment was incorrect. A thorough expert analysis of the tire, along with a trip to the tire manufacturing facility and obtaining the factory specifications for the tire, allowed attorney Mike Stephenson to produce objective evidence that the tire had been improperly manufactured by the manufacturer’s own standards. Stephenson, with the assistance of highly specialized computer animation, put together a state-of-the-art visual presentation that showed objectively how the tire failed to meet the manufacturer’s own standards. This technology demonstrated clearly the magnitude of defects in the tire and how easy it would be to show a jury the reason for the tire failure.

The case settled after the presentation of the computer animation.


C.W.’s Spare Tire

Indiana Tire Failure Accident

C.W. purchased a used 1998 Isuzu Rodeo. Eighteen months after purchasing the vehicle, he had a flat tire on the rear of the vehicle. C.W. took the spare tire off the back of the vehicle and placed it in service. The spare tire looked brand new, even though the tire was actually very old. As he was driving on the interstate, the tire suffered a tread belt separation causing him to lose control, travel into the median, and roll the vehicle several times. The vehicle was originally equipped with Dueler 684 tires manufactured by Bridgestone/Firestone. Our client became a quadriplegic as a result of the accident. Suit was filed against Bridgestone Corporation and the car dealership in Cincinnati that sold the car to C.W., not advising him that the tire was in such poor condition. Stephenson was able to obtain a confidential settlement against both entities.

Serious Litigators

Stephenson was hired by a Florida law firm to assist in pursuing a personal injury case against Bridgestone/Firestone in a catastrophic accident involving a Dueler 684 tire that suffered a tread belt separation causing a rollover of a Honda Passport. As a result of the catastrophic tire failure, four people lost their lives. The litigation had been pending for four years when Stephenson was hired to appear in the litigation on behalf of the plaintiffs. Within 12 months of Stephenson’s involvement, the case was concluded after 14 hours of mediation for a confidential sum payable to the estate of the deceased.

A.M.’s Accident

A.M. was 14 years old when she was riding as a front seat passenger in a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo being driven by her best friend. The vehicle had been recently purchased by her friend’s father. Unfortunately, the Honda Passport had a Dueler 684 tire placed on the right rear of the vehicle that suffered a tread belt separation as the vehicle was traveling on the interstate in Nevada. Stephenson was hired to assist the plaintiffs’ attorney to pursue the claim against Bridgestone/Firestone. After nearly two years of litigation, a confidential settlement was obtained at mediation payable to A.M.’s parents.

A Family Devastated

Stephenson was hired by Attorney Joseph Johnson to assist in pursuing a case against Michelin on behalf of four children who lost both parents and three siblings when the vehicle that they were riding in rolled over as a result of a tread belt separation of a Michelin tire that was on the right rear of the vehicle. The case had been in litigation for more than two years when Stephenson became involved and, in less than nine months after his involvement, the case was brought to a conclusion for a confidential sum payable to the guardian of the estate for the benefit of the four surviving children.

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Indiana Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]

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