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Goodyear Isn’t Liable for Tire Explosion, Court Says

(CN) - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is not liable for damages to a woman whose husband died when the tire he was working on exploded, the New York Appellate Division ruled.

George Stalker ran a truck repair business, and he had 20 years of experience. While he was inflating a radial tire, it had a zipper rupture and exploded, sending him flying across the room. Stalker died from his injuries.

His widow, Betty, filed a product liability lawsuit against Goodyear, which manufactured the tire in 1993, and Rua & Sons, Inc., which retreaded the tire in 1996.

Judge Lahtinen agreed with the lower court that Betty did not prove that the product was defective.

Her expert, engineer Dennis Carlton, testified that the tire's design was defective, "but he does so with generalized statements and in conclusory terms unsupported by analysis or data."

Lahtinen also ruled in Goodyear's favor on Betty's inadequate warnings claim, stating that warnings of the accident came from Stalker himself.

"His son, as well as others who worked at the business, recalled receiving safety warnings from the decedent," the judge wrote. "Specifically, decedent warned that tires that been run underinflated could potentially rupture when inflated."

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