St. Louis Record

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Judge tosses motor home owners' suit against Goodyear over defective tire claims


By Charmaine Little | May 24, 2019

ST. LOUIS – Goodyear escaped a negligence lawsuit after a Missouri couple failed to state a claim following a motor home accident they blamed on a defective tire, a judge on the bench of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri for the Eastern Division ruled May 15.

Judge Henry Edward Autrey granted Goodyear's motion to dismiss the case, stating the claims cited by plaintiffs Michael and Sharon Hupalo were flawed and did not include facts to establish minimal pleading requirements.

"The amended complaint contains insufficient allegations to raise any plausible claims for relief," Autrey wrote. "Plaintiffs simply articulate the elements of their claims and add conclusions. Plaintiffs allege the tire was defective and therefore caused their damages. Defendants are entitled to at least minimal facts..."

The Hupalos sued The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. after the motor home they lived in and owned was involved in a single-vehicle accident in 2016 after a tire, created, built, sold and distributed by Goodyear on the front driver side failed. They said the damage totaled approximately $194,055.11. 

The Hupalos sued over allegations of strict liability, strict liability-failure to warn, breach of express warranty, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, breach of the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and negligence. They alleged the tire was in a defective condition and that Goodyear was negligent when it designed, assembled, sold, distributed, and/or manufactured the tire that ended up on the Hupalos' motor home. 

The plaintiffs also alleged Goodyear failed to have devices to prevent the alleged defects and did not give a warning of the reasonable danger. Goodyear filed its motion to dismiss citing failure to state a claim.

Autrey gave the plaintiffs 14 days from the date of the ruling to file an amended complaint.

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