Trial Victory for YOKA | SMITH in Tire Defect Litigation


    This case involved a February 18, 2016 tire failure and single-vehicle rollover Ford F-350 pickup truck which was  carrying four passengers and also pulling a 16-foot utility trailer. The incident occurred as the F-350 was travelling in excess of 90 mph on Highway 70 east of Roswell, New Mexico and when the pickup truck’s left rear tire, manufactured by Continental Tire the Americas, experienced a disablement and tread-belt detachment.  One of the occupants was killed in the rollover and the other three occupants were seriously injured. 

    Plaintiffs in this case were the passengers and the surviving family members of the deceased vehicle occupant.   Plaintiffs sued YOKA | SMITH's client Continental Tire, and alleged that the tire failure was caused by defects in the design and manufacture of the tire and claimed the tire failure caused the loss of vehicle control and rollover. Walter Yoka, Anthony Latiolait and Bret Henry of YOKA | SMITH tried this case over the course of two weeks in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.  The trial included the testimony of more than 20 witnesses, including ten experts.

    The Court entered a judgment for Continental Tire on all counts on May 17, 2023, finding that there was no design or manufacturing defect, that a design or manufacturing defect did not cause the tread belt separation, and that Continental was not negligent.

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