Tennessee father files consumer safety protection lawsuit over guardrails

One crash in November 2016 claimed the life of Stephen Eimers' 17-year-old daughter Hannah. Her car went off the roadway on Interstate 75 in McMinn County, hitting a guardrail that pushed Hannah into the backseat.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A consumer safety protection lawsuit has been filed by a Tennessee father after his daughter died in a crash.

One crash in November 2016 claimed the life of Hannah Eimers, 17. Her car went off the roadway on Interstate 75 in McMinn County, hitting a guardrail that pushed Hannah into the backseat. Her father, Stephen Eimers, was sent a bill by mistake for $3,000 to replace the guardrail.

On November 1, 2016, Steve Eimers lost his 17-year-old daughter, Hannah, when her vehicle collided with an X-LITE guardrail on the driver side. The rail pierced the driver side front door and sliced through to the rear passenger door, striking Hannah in the head and chest and thrusting her into the back seat of the car, killing her instantly. (Photo: Family)

Since then, Eimers has visited Washington to speak with lawmakers on X-LITE guardrails.

“Every day, my family must confront the never-ending nightmare of losing our beautiful daughter Hannah, a pain shared by many others across this country who have seen precious lives cut short by this dangerous product,” said Eimers, father of Hannah Eimers. “Companies who profit from selling safety mechanisms and who create public hazards, instead of public safety, must accept responsibility and do everything possible to ensure these tragedies never happen again.”

The lawsuit is against companies that are involved in the manufacturing and installation of the guardrails. The guardrails are made by a Nebraska-based company, Lindsay Corporation.

The suit claims that X-LITE guardrails have claimed the lives of at least six people since 2016 by “impaling vehicle passengers rather than telescoping into itself.”

“It is simply beyond belief that Lindsay Corporation has turned a blind eye to the serious danger posed to motorists,” said Ted Leopold, Chair of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll’s Defective Products practice, which represents Eimers, as well as the Beuttel, Davison and Byrd families. “The tragic loss of Hannah and victims across the country must compel action and we look forward to supporting and representing Mr. Eimers in his fight to hold those responsible accountable and bring greater safety to our nation’s roadways.”

Related: Families sue guardrail company after fatal Tennessee accidents

The families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company and Cumberland Guardrail, Inc. in 2016.

“Instead of protecting motorists, Lindsay Corporation has continued to deflect responsibility for its role in jeopardizing the safety of drivers nationwide,” said Leslie Mitchell Kroeger, partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and a member of the plaintiffs’ legal team. “We are committed to rigorously pursuing justice for the Eimers’ family and supporting Mr. Eimers’ efforts to foster awareness and drive change that could save lives.”

The lawsuit says the families believes policymakers have not done enough to protect motorists nationwide.

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