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Hupalo v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

May 15, 2019

MICHAEL and SHARON HUPALO, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY Defendant.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint, [Doc. No. 13]. Plaintiffs oppose the Motion. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion will be granted.

         Facts and Background [1]

         For the purposes of the Motion to Dismiss, the following facts, taken from Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, are taken as true.

         Plaintiffs are the owners of a 2006 Beaver Monterey Patriot Thunder motor home they owned and occupied, identified by VIN 1RF10561861035494 (“Subject RV”).

         Defendant is an Ohio corporation with its principal place of business located in Akron, Ohio, that conducts business throughout Missouri. Defendant is in the general business of manufacturing, designing, distributing, selling and introducing into the stream of commerce tires, including the 2011 Goodyear RV 295/80R 22.5 G670 tire (hereinafter “Subject Tire”) that were located on the Subject RV at the time of the Accident that is the subject of this lawsuit.

         On September 21, 2016, the Subject RV was involved in a single-vehicle accident as a result of the unforeseeable failure of the Subject Tire that was located in the front driver side portion of the Subject RV (“Subject Accident”). Plaintiffs suffered substantial property damage as a result of the Subject Accident in the approximation of $194, 055.11.

         The Subject Tire was designed, assembled, manufactured, sold, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce by Defendant, and was expected to and did reach Plaintiffs without substantial change in the condition in which it was manufactured and distributed to Plaintiffs. The Subject Tire was then in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous when put to a reasonably anticipated use in that it was designed, assembled, manufactured, sold and distributed by Defendant as defective, and Defendant failed to have any devices to prevent defects such as the type which caused the dangerous condition or situation wherein a catastrophic tire failure would occur.

         The Subject Tire was used in a manner reasonably anticipated.

         The Subject Tire was expected to and did reach Plaintiffs without substantial change in the condition in which it was manufactured. The Subject Tire was then in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous when put to a reasonably anticipated use in that it was designed, manufactured, assembled, sold, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce by Defendant as defective, and Defendant failed to have any devices to prevent design defects such as the type which caused the dangerous condition or situation wherein a catastrophic tire failure would be likely and inevitable. Defendant did not give an adequate warning of the unreasonable danger.

         Defendant designed, manufactured, assembled, sold, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce the Subject Tire to Plaintiffs. Defendant represented to Plaintiffs that the Subject Tire was in good working order and was fit for use as a tire capable of being used on the Subject RV. The aforesaid representations were material factors in inducing Plaintiffs to acquire the Subject Tire. The Subject Tire did not conform to the aforesaid representations, in that, among other things, the Subject Tire was designed, manufactured, sold, assembled, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce by Defendant as defective and unreasonably dangerous. The aforesaid non-conformities caused the Subject Tire to fail, allowing a catastrophic tire failure and resulting single-vehicle accident to occur so that Plaintiffs were not able to use the Subject Tire in a reasonable manner. Plaintiffs notified Defendant of said non-conformities.

         When Defendant designed, manufactured, sold, assembled, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce the Subject Tire, it was not fit for its ordinary purpose because the Subject Tire was designed, manufactured, sold, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce by Defendant as defective, and Plaintiffs used the Subject Tire for its ordinary purpose and gave Defendant notice that it was not fit for ordinary purposes.

         Defendant knew or should have known that the use for which the Subject Tire was purchased by Plaintiffs was for use on the Subject RV. Plaintiffs reasonably relied on Defendant's judgment that the Subject Tire was fit for such use. When the Subject Tire was sold to Plaintiffs it was not fit for such use because the Subject Tire was designed, manufactured, sold, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce by Defendant as defective and was susceptible to failure, and Plaintiffs notified Defendant of said defect.

         When the Subject Tire was sold to Plaintiffs it was not fit for such use because the Subject Tire was designed, manufactured, sold, distributed and introduced into the stream of commerce by Defendant as defective and was ...


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