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Highway guardrail maker defrauded US government of $175 million, jury finds

A US company accused of selling highway guardrails that pose direct dangers to drivers has been found guilty of defrauding the federal government, the New York Times reports. A Texas jury determined Monday that the manufacturer, Trinity Industries, changed the design of its guardrails in 2005 without notifying the Federal Highway Administration. The company then sold its systems to state governments who then received federal reimbursement.

At issue is a decision to narrow the width of Trinity’s rail head from five inches to four. State regulators have alleged that this change raises the risk of guardrails piercing cars (and passengers) during collisions. Plaintiffs in at least 14 other lawsuits claim that the changes to Trinity’s…

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