After more than 40 lawsuits and years of complaints about Goodyear’s dangerous G159 motorhome tires, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is finally opening up an investigation. These defective tires have been on the market for over a decade, but the NHTSA only opened an investigation as of last week. What took so long? The settlements involving injury causing and fatal crashes associated with these defective motorhome tires had confidentiality agreements built in. Not only was the NHTSA kept from this important information and data, consumers were kept in the dark, while dangerous, and potentially deadly products were kept on the market.
The Problem With Confidentiality in Settlement Agreements
Confidentiality in these types of settlement agreements keeps consumers and government agencies from knowing what’s going on. No company wants information coming to light about potentially hazardous or deadly products. It’s bad for business. It’s bad for shareholder profits. It’s in a manufacturer’s best interest to use settlements with confidentiality agreements, because then they can keep their deadly secrets from going public and impacting their bottom line.
Profit Before People
Unfortunately, we can’t count on these corporations to police themselves. Time and time again, we’ve seen auto manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and other large corporations sweep important data under the rug in order to avoid pulling dangerous products off of the market. When it comes to big businesses like the auto industry, it’s often profits over people. This is why it is absolutely essential to hold manufactures accountable for faulty, defective and potentially deadly products.
Confidentiality Protecting Big Business At Expense of Consumer Safety
Alexander Law Group, LLP has long been calling for an end to confidentiality in legal settlements that hide the evidence of dangerous products, environmental hazards and financial fraud. Confidentiality in these types of settlements has traditionally been a way to protect large corporations from accountability for their dangerous products, while simultaneously continuing to endanger the general public. Consumers have a right to know if products are unsafe. Confidentiality should only be allowed to protect constitutional rights to privacy, trade secrets or confidential personal or business information.
Alexander Law Group, LLP is always ready to answer questions and share the results of our research and experience with the public. Our goal is to make a difference for our clients and our community.