Duval County Mother Awarded 27.5 Million Dollars in Lawsuit agai - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Duval County Mother Awarded 27.5 Million Dollars in Lawsuit against Wal-Mart

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Wal-mart, the world's largest retailer has been ordered to pay 27.5 million dollars to a Duval County resident in connection with the death of her 18 year old son.  Justin Flores was killed in an SUV accident back in April of 2010.  He was a passenger in the SUV when the driver lost control and rolled over on Highway 44 just west of San Diego.  Authorities say it was the result of worn tires.  The lawsuit stems from a routine oil change and tire inspection three months earlier at the Wal-mart in Alice.  Employees allegedly told the owner that her rear tires were fine, and did not need replacement. The jury concluded, however, that the tires were in fact in need of replacement and that it was a factor in the crash.

The family's attorney, Craig Sico released this statement saying, "the simple recommendation of rotating the spare into service could have prevented Justin's untimely death."

 

Here is the Full Press Release:

** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**


A failure to recommend a three dollar tire rotation on a 15 point oil change and inspection has resulted in a landmark jury verdict in Duval County, Texas. Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has been ordered to pay $27.5 million to a Duval County resident in connection with the death of her 18 year old son. Justin Flores was killed an in automobile accident on April 11, 2010. The lawsuit stems from a routine oil change and inspection three months earlier at Walmart store #0791 in Alice, Texas. On December 28, 2009, Lorena Esparza took her 2006 Nissan Titan to the store for a 15 point service that included an oil change and tire inspection, along with an overall vehicle inspection. Walmart employees incorrectly advised Ms. Esparza that her rear tire had sufficient tread depth and were not in need of replacement. The jury concluded, however, that the rear tires were not as Walmart represented to her and were in need of replacement, due to low and uneven tread. Approximately three and a half months later, Ms. Esparza was driving the Titan on Highway 44 in Duval County when the vehicle hydroplaned as a result of worn tires. Justin Flores was killed in that accident.

Sico, White, Hoelscher and Braugh, LLP, along with Gowan Elizondo , LLP, both with principal offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, represented the family of Justin Flores. The lawsuit claims Walmart failed to take tread depth measurements on the tires and failed to advise Ms. Esparza that the tires were in need of replacement. "A horrific and preventable oversight", said attorney Gregory Gowan. Attorney Craig Sico added "the simple recommendation of rotating the spare into service could have prevented Justin's untimely death."

Justin Flores played all sports at San Diego and Freer High School, but his true passion was track and field, In 2009, his cross country team achieved the district championship title, and Justin was selected to run in the Australian cross country events.

"The family of Justin hopes that Walmart will respect this verdict and change it's policies and procedures to clearly communicate problems with the tires of it;s customers when charging for these safety related automobile services" said Jason P. Hoelscher.

Houston attorney Bill Daw of Daw and Ray represented Walmart in this lawsuit.
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