Posted in on March 5, 2018
Middleton/Ontiveros v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Audon Ontiveros, Court of Common Pleas, Hampton County, South Carolina. Two people were killed and two injured when a defective tire failed, allowing a belt separation and causing the vehicle to go out of control and roll over. Plaintiffs systematically proved that Cooper Tire had concealed, in violation of court order, wide ranging evidence of its knowledge of tire failures as well as other evidence of problems with its tires. After a lengthy hearing, the trial court entered a detailed order documenting a pattern of concealment of evidence and discovery abuse touching almost every facet of the case. The court also ordered a further investigation to determine the full extent of that misconduct before an ultimate sanction was levied. Plaintiff moved for default to be entered against Cooper Tire as a result of that pervasive misconduct. Before the final hearing was held to determine whether to default Cooper Tire, the case settled. The settlement amount is confidential at Defendant’s request.