Safety Watchdogs Press for Disclosure in Guardrail Lawsuit

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Two public-safety advocacy groups want a Texas judge to unseal court records they say are unnecessarily being kept secret in a whistleblower lawsuit that questions the safety of thousands of highway guardrail end caps made by a division of Trinity Industries Inc.

Lawyers for The Center for Auto Safety and Massachusetts-based The Safety Institute asked a federal judge to unseal the court records in court papers filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas.

The request could make new information public in a lawsuit that focuses on the safety of Trinity Industries’ ET-Plus guardrail end.

At least a dozen accidents—some fatal—have been reported for vehicles that run off the road and collide with Trinity-made guardrail end caps that, instead of cushioning the impact, malfunction and spear the vehicle, according to lawsuits that have been filed against Trinity.