Talmadge Waldrip did not think helping his daughter move would land him in the hospital for 10 months with a crushed pelvis, ruptured bladder and fractured vertebrae in his neck. But when the fully packed six-ton U-Haul emergency brake didn’t hold, Waldrip slipped under the left front wheel of the 24-foot “Household Mover” model.
This investigative News 8 Story looks at the inspection process, or lack thereof, of U-Haul trucks, and U-Haul’s response to Waldrip’s lawyer. Reporters questioned U-Haul about maintenance procedures and the mass moving truck company’s Dallas location said vehicles are taken out of service – after a customer reports a maintenance need. Yet U-Haul argues that in addition to setting the brake, Waldrip should have put the truck in gear (depspite a worn transmission that prevented it from engaging if the truck was not in motion). Doesn’t help that the truck had 234,000 miles on it and the parking brake housing was coated with transmission fluid. Either way, Waldrip’s wife now cares for him around the clock.
U-Haul should have an absolute duty to inspect its vehicles prior to allowing them on public roads. As this article suggests, the vehicle may “feel” fine and seem to be driving smoothly, while a potentially dangerous safety issue lurks under the hood. U-Haul should be ashamed of itself if its vehicles, which with hundreds of thousands of miles, are not properly inspected by trained U-Haul personnel prior to renting the vehicles to unsuspecting customers.
Have you been injured by a poorly maintained or defective product? Contact a product liability attorney to see if you have a case.