Tire Explosion Severely Injures Maintenance Worker

Victoria Negron

Written by
— Updated on March 8, 2018

Mechanical Engineering Expert Witness

This case involves a tire company employee performing maintenance on the flat tire of a chassis. While the employee was working, the rim assembly exploded causing the tire to fly off. The tire hit the employee in the head, throwing him backward and fracturing his skull. The fracture was so intense that it tore the brain membrane causing a severe bacterial infection. It was alleged that the owner and transporter of the chassis each inspected and performed maintenance on the wheel rim assembly in the weeks leading up to the accident. However, subsequent inspection of the rim assembly revealed it was in poor condition. An expert in mechanical engineering was sought to discuss the required maintenance and possible mechanical failures of these assemblies, and determine liability for this accident.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you familiar with split rim assemblies?
  • 2. Do you have knowledge of the required maintenance and possible mechanical failures of the assemblies?

Expert Witness Response E-026662

I have performed a wide range of work in the area of tire, wheel, and brake systems. My work includes numerous inspections, testing, failure analysis, accident reconstruction, and employee training on tires, wheels, and brakes related to trucks, passenger vehicles, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, recreational vehicles, and golf cars. I am very familiar with split rim assemblies and have performed more than 100 rim explosion related investigations. I have a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the maintenance/possible mechanical failures of these assemblies. I have also helped employers to develop in-house safety training and have put together manuals for split rim assemblies. I have testified as an expert witness in cases involving tread/belt separation, wheel/tire balancing, tread wear, tire durability, tire mounting and demounting on both single-piece and multi-piece wheels, tire blowouts due to a multitude of causes, tire and wheel mismatch explosion, tire bead failure, brake failure, and brake pedal misapplication. I have also testified as an expert witness on driver response and vehicle handling in accidents involving tire disablements.

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