Father’s fight to expose ‘deadly guardrails’ comes to an end

Hundreds of X-Lite guardrails installed throughout the state
Alaska's News Source found hundreds of X-Lite guardrails installed throughout the state. Steve Eimers sued the manufacturer, Lindsay Corp., both sides settled.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 10:00 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A father’s six-year fight to expose what he calls “potentially deadly guardrails” came to an end on Tuesday in a Tennessee courtroom. Steve Eimers sued Lindsay Corporation, the manufacturer of the X-Lite guardrail, after his 17-year-old daughter, Hannah, was killed when her car slammed into an X-Lite guardrail in Tennessee in 2016.

The trial began on June 13 in the United States District Court’s Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Eimers claimed the X-Lite guardrail had design flaws, which he believes the company knew about. Eimers and Alaska’s News Source obtained hundreds of Lindsay Corporation’s internal emails and videos, evidence that Eimers says proves the manufacturer knew the guardrails were defective. During a five-month investigation, Alaska’s News Source found nearly 300 X-Lite guardrails installed throughout the state of Alaska, many in and around Anchorage, despite the fact that Alaska’s Department of Transportation initially told the Federal Highway Administration none were installed in the state.

Lindsay has always maintained their product was safe, something they continued to argue throughout the trial. Both parties presented evidence and their witnesses testified. On day six of the trial, both parties agreed to a settlement which was filed in a Tennessee district court on Tuesday. The court order stated, “as a result, the Court paused the trial and sent the jury home.”

The details of the settlement were not disclosed. Efforts to obtain statements from either party were unsuccessful. Alaska’s DOT&PF now plans to spend up to $30 million upgrading guardrails in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula areas. In 2018, Lindsay stopped making X-Lites after the Federal Highway Administration adopted stricter safety rules.

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