Judge to consider Trinity guardrail lawsuit next week in Virginia

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Next week, a judge will consider a lawsuit filed by the State of Virginia over a guardrail found on roads around the Tri-Cities.

On Monday, a judge in Richmond’s Circuit Court will consider the State of Virginia’s lawsuit against Trinity Industries, the maker of the ET-Plug guardrail system. The lawsuit claims Trinity defrauded Virginians by modifying the guardrail end terminal without giving proper notification.

Last year, a federal court in Texas ruled Trinity Industries committed fraud when it modified the guardrail, and this year a judge ordered the company to pay damages in the  “whistleblower” lawsuit filed by Southwest Virginia businessman Josh Harmon. Trinity is appealing the ruling.

People across the country have sued the company saying the safety product failed in head-on crashes leading to injuries and even death.

Trinity continues to deny that it ever committed fraud, and the company says multiple safety tests show the product is safe.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring sued Trinity as well claiming fraud. Today, Herring’s office said a judge will consider motions filed by Trinity Industry lawyers in the Virginia case.

Yesterday, News Channel 11 broke the news that the Virginia Department of Transportation planned to conduct its own independent testing of the ET-Plus guardrail starting next month despite the fact the federal government said ET-Plus passed eight recent crash tests.

VDOT spokesperson Marshall Herman said, “Everything the Virginia Department of Transportation does is the for single purpose of looking out for the safety of the motoring public.”

Trinity spokesman Jeff Eller said, “We do not believe additional tests are needed. The ET Plus System successfully passed all eight Federal Highway Administration requested tests. VDOT observed each test.”

The motions hearing is set for Monday at 9 a.m. in Richmond Circuit Court.

News Channel 11 asked Trinity for comment about Monday’s hearing. A company spokesperson said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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