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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lawsuits blame FedEx, Bridgestone for I-80 death in east Cheyenne
Article thanks to Sarah Zoellick and Links provided:

CHEYENNE - April 19, 2015
A New York woman appointed as the wrongful death representative for Cheyenne resident James Ednie filed a lawsuit in federal court here earlier this month.

The lawsuit, filed by Ednie's sister, says FedEx Ground Package Systems, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and its various subsidiaries, and a company called CLR Transportation acted negligently to cause or substantially contribute to Ednie's death.

Ednie died in November in a nearly head-on collision on Interstate 80 in Cheyenne. A westbound FedEx tractor-trailer went careening through the median into eastbound traffic, striking the minivan he was driving.

Ednie's significant other, Tanya Gooden, also died in the collision.

Her adult son, Cameron Gooden, who was riding in his wheelchair in the back of their minivan, was flown to a Denver-area medical facility where he died from his injuries the next morning.

Tanya Gooden's daughter, Alodie Gooden, filed a lawsuit on behalf of her and her son late last month, also against FedEx, Bridgestone and Utah-based CLR Trucking. An amended version filed Friday no longer names CLR Trucking as a defendant.

Both lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming say the front driver's side tire of the FedEx tractor failed, causing the tractor and its two trailers to strike Ednie's van near mile marker 363 on I-80.

Two months before the fatal collision, the passenger side tire on that tractor also failed, the lawsuits say.

That tire was purchased at the same time and thus likely from the same lot as the faulty driver's side tire, the complaints continue.

"Bridgestone's tire was in a defective, dangerous condition at the time of its sale," the documents say.

The Gooden lawsuit adds: "FedEx's choice not to replace both steer tires ... was reckless, willful and wanton, and demonstrated indifference to the safety of the motoring public."

The Ednie lawsuit includes that language as well but also names CLR Trucking.

Both wrongful death representatives are seeking damages "substantially in excess of $75,000," to be determined at trial.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to those affected by the tragic accident last November in Cheyenne," FedEx Ground spokesman David Westrick said in an email earlier this month in response to the Gooden complaint.

Bridgestone said in an email statement at that time that the company takes product safety seriously.

Ednie, a New York native, was well known to many in Cheyenne as a statewide advocate for suicide prevention. He also was known to be a devoted, full-time caretaker for Cameron Gooden.

Ednie founded two organizations - Rock for Life and Rock for Kids - that reportedly sprang from his own experiences dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide.

Ednie's friends said after his death that he was passionate about using music to deliver his message of hope.
Published on: Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 - 11:27:08 pm MDT

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