In re Michelin North America, Inc. is a recent product liability case. The case arose when a woman driving a 2013 Ford Explorer was hit by Robert Coleman’s Ford F250 pickup. The pickup crossed the center line when its left front tire failed, and it crashed into the Explorer, killing the woman. The driver of the pickup and his passengers were seriously injured.
The woman’s heir filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging negligence and strict product liability against Michelin and a negligence claim against the driver of the pickup. The pickup driver filed a petition to intervene in the wrongful death lawsuit against Michelin.
The tire at issue was manufactured at a Michelin plant in 2011. The pickup driver claimed the tread peeled off the left front tire, and it lost air quickly because of tread separation, resulting in the pickup driver losing control. Before filing suit, the pickup driver’s attorney asked that specified evidence be preserved. The pickup driver’s attorney made several discovery requests to Michelin, which objected and claimed trade secret privilege, among other things. The court granted the pickup driver’s motion to compel access. The order allowed videotaping, limited to an hour.