Villanueva vs. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Yoka & Smith obtained summary judgment in favor of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company in Villaneuva vs. Cooper Tire, a case that involved a single-vehicle rollover following a tire tread separation. The driver, Maria Villanueva, sustained injuries in the accident leaving her a quadriplegic. Plaintiffs alleged the Cooper-made tire failed due to manufacturing and design defects, and that the tire failure caused the accident. Cooper Tire established there was a nonrepairable puncture in the tire and that the tire should have been removed from service before the accident. In the motion it was shown that the loss of air pressure in the tire from the puncture resulted in a classic "Run Flat/Run Soft" tire failure. Cooper Tire further contended, and the court found, that plaintiffs failed to establish any defect in the tire, that any supposed defect in the tire proximately caused plaintiffs' injuries or that Cooper Tire had failed to provide appropriate warnings for the tire.