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Lufkin Industries Inc. Message Board

  • easy_money006 easy_money006 Nov 21, 2006 7:46 AM Flag

    Lufkin loses $36 million lawsuit

    Does anybody know if this is covered by insurance?

    "Jury awards $36 million to woman in Lufkin Industries lawsuit

    Staff writer

    Monday, November 20, 2006

    A Carthage jury awarded a California woman $36 million in a civil suit she filed against Lufkin Industries seeking damages from a 2003 motor vehicle collision with an 18-wheel tractor trailer built by the company.

    Kelleigh Falcon, a 25-year-old resident of Chino Hills, Calif., was severely injured in October 2003 when the Ford Taurus she was riding in struck the side of an 18-wheeler, sending it underneath the trailer that pulled out in front the vehicle she was in, according to a press release from the law office of attorney Paul "Chip" Ferguson, of Beaumont.

    Lufkin Industries declined to comment late Monday, saying it is planning to issue a statement today.

    Falcon suffered severe head injuries from the accident, which later resulted in brain damage. The driver of the car, Virginia Walker, died five days later. Falcon's two children riding in the back of the car had minor injuries.

    U.S. governmental regulations require some type of underride protection that prevents smaller vehicles from going underneath tractor trailers. Lufkin Industries, according to court testimony referenced in the release, never equipped its vehicles with underride protection. Since the government has not mandated the regulation, the company does not equip its vehicles with the protection.

    "The Panola County jury found the Lufkin Industries-manufactured trailer was defectively designed and that the U.S. governmental regulations were inadequate to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury or damage," the release said.

    The jury awarded an additional $2.5 million to the family of Walker."

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    • If it drops as a result, this is a buying opportunity. (I'm already long LUFK.)

      I'm confident Lufkin will win on appeal. If it even gets that far. I suspect the plaintiff probably knows the appeal will be difficult, and they'll settle for a fraction.

      Lufkin trailers are 100% compliant with all relevant safety standards. And don't think these lawsuits are a surprise to anyone (Lufkin or their insurance provider)--they've been around since the 1960's when Jayne Mansfield was killed in a similar accident.

      Even if it sticks, insurance picks up a big piece of the bill. "Immaterial" is right.

      I expect LUFK to reach $70 again by mid-March.

    • ccoco Nov 23, 2006 12:55 AM Flag

      1. covered by insurance
      2. jury found that trailer was defective for having no sideguard and as part of that the govt regulations in that regard were insufficient.
      3. Lufkin knew for forty years of the danger and did nothing about it.
      4. Admitted that there were alternative designs that would have cured the danger.
      5. As of Dec. 31 they will no longer make van trailers.
      6. No pre-emption, no Federal Court appeal.
      7. You should not talk about something you know nothing about.

      • 1 Reply to ccoco
      • 1. Thanks for the info
        2. If we don't know the facts, it's because Lufkin has a habit of being fairly tight-lipped about such matters. Check out the Lufkin website -- none of this is on it. Where's the press release?
        3. Our discussion revolved around published news stories and reported facts.
        4. The board discussion was in fact useful to us because we now have your input (assuming, of course, that you know what you are talking about).

    • I don' tknow if a state law required the protection when the FEds did not . Courts and juries will make rulings that have nothing to do with law. Either the guards were required or not. Just because something can be dangerous does not make it legally required for a manufacturer to add protection if competitors don't and if the law does not require it. We will eventually hear how it turns out. Likely if LUFK loses, the dollar verdict will be lowered.

    • I have long thought that LUFK's achilles heal was its trailer division. Maybe I was more right than I knew. I hope this does not become an asbestos type problem for LUFK going forward as they likely don't make anything on those trailers anyway.


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