Cooper Tire wants mishap lawsuit moved

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. on Monday asked to transfer to Louisiana a lawsuit by the heirs of six people killed in a 2009 accident on Interstate 10 in Louisiana.

Sixteen Louisiana residents were involved in the Nov. 28, 2009, accident, when a 2000 GMC Safari collided with another vehicle and rolled several times.

Clarence Webster III of Jackson, representing Cooper Tire, asked the U.S. District Court to move the case to the federal district based in Baton Rouge because virtually all the investigators and witnesses are in Louisiana.

The lawsuit’s 17 plaintiffs claim the accident was caused when the tread separate from the Safari’s left front tire. As the vehicle rolled, 13 passengers were ejected, resulting in the deaths of five children and one adult, they claim.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 12 in the Northern District of Mississippi, which includes Tupelo, where the tire in question is alleged to have been made at the Cooper Tire plant.

Plaintiffs term the tire “defective” and ask for a jury trial.

Cooper Tire denies the allegations and said any injuries or damages from the accident may have occurred after “the product’s useful life had expired.”

More details in Tuesday’s Daily Journal or at NEMS360.com.