Company will stop selling guardrails after $175 million jury verdict, demand by regulators

Economic Indicators Associated Press

A Texas company is stopping shipments of a common highway-guardrail system and conducting more crash tests after it lost a $175 million jury verdict.

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Trinity Industries Inc. says that it would stop selling the ET-Plus system until testing is complete.

Earlier this week, a jury in federal district court in Marshall, Texas, decided Trinity should pay at least $175 million for misleading regulators. A whistle-blower charged that the company changed the design of caps that go on the ends of the guardrails but didn't tell regulators until several years later. Trinity criticized the decision and hinted that it would appeal.

Critics say that when vehicles strike the guardrail ends, the guardrails don't crumple as they should, but instead become spears that impale cars and their occupants.