Cooper Tire Subverts Evidence, Investigative Process, Attorney Alleges

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V. 3 Issue 3, May / June 2006

Did Cooper Tire knowingly hire a felon convicted of insurance fraud charges to spirit away physical evidence of failed tires before police investigators or plaintiffs' attorney could collect or analyze then? And where is a key piece of evidence in a 2001 tread separation case that was taken from the accident scene?

These are the questions plaguing Loza V. Cooper, a Phoenix rollover case, set for trial this September. In September 2001, Elisa Loza was the rear-seat passenger in a 1996 Ford Super Club E350 with Cooper-made Hercules all-track radial LTs. Her husband was driving on a highway near Gila Bend, Arizona, when, her estate alleges, a Cooper tire experienced a tread separation. Mrs. Loza died in the rollover accident that resulted.