Dangerous Guardrails Spur Investigation of Possible Federal Government Misconduct
The NY Times reports:
“The Federal Highway Administration said it would monitor the results of Virginia’s tests. The office of Virginia’s attorney general declined to comment beyond Mr. McGrath’s letter. Scrutiny of the guardrail manufacturer is continuing. The Justice Department, with the cooperation of the Transportation Department inspector general’s office, is conducting a criminal investigation into Trinity and its dealings with the Federal Highway Administration.
In June, a Texas judge handed down a $663 million judgment against Trinity, following a trial held in October last year in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by Joshua Harman, a competitor who discovered in 2011 that Trinity had made a critical change to the dimensions of its ET-Plus guardrail in 2005, but failed to tell federal regulators as required by law….
Senator Richard Blumenthal, a persistent critic of Trinity and the highway agency’s handling of the testing, praised Virginia’s actions.
“I think this is a watershed moment,” Mr. Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said. “Clearly the states have concluded they cannot trust the Federal Highway Administration to get it right, and this signals to other states that they’ll have to fill in the gap themselves to determine if these guardrails are safe.”