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Product Safety Groups Seek Transparency in Whistleblower Suit

A pair of organizations that advocate for safe consumer products have asked for the unsealing of court documents related to a major whistleblower case.

The case, recently declared a mistrial, is related to Texas-based Trinity Industries and potentially unsafe guardrails the company produces, which have been used on highways across the United States. The Center for Auto Safety and the Safety Institute both suspect the lawsuit could involve sums of money in the billions of dollars.

In the lawsuit, whistleblower Josh Harman claimed that Trinity’s ET-Plus model guardrails were dangerous and failed to adequately protect motorists due to the fact that they were never properly tested for safety or approved by the right government officials. Harman filed his lawsuit in Texas on behalf of the American public. Officials with Trinity Industries, however, say that Harman’s claims are misleading.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the judge declared the lawsuit a mistrial based on concerns that witnesses for the defense had been intimidated or were less than truthful in their testimonies. Many of the records were sealed, however, preventing the public from accessing them. According to the Safety Institute, it is in the public’s immediate interest to have the documents made public so that potential safety concerns with the guardrails may be swiftly addressed.

This was not the first lawsuit filed against Trinity Industries related to the ET-Plus guardrails. In examining other claims across the country, the guardrails could be responsible for as many as four deaths and 10 serious injuries.

If you are aware of wrongdoing within your organization or industry, reporting it could be in the interest of public safety. To learn more about your legal options and the protections available to you, contact a dedicated Dallas attorney at the Whistleblower Law for Managers today.

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