(WCSC) - A US District Court judge has tripled damages against a company supplying thousands of guardrails on South Carolina highways.
Last month, a Live 5 Investigation revealed Trinity Industries supplied thousands of guardrails in the state.
A district court in Texas found the company defrauded the federal government when it changed the design of its ET-Plus guardrail without telling them.
They are supposed fold up when hit by a car, reducing the chance of death or injury to people in the car. Joshua Harman, a competitor in Virginia, said that the design change could lead to deaths. Trinity says they are safe.
On Tuesday, a judge tripled the jury's judgment of $175 million to $525 million. It also added $138 million in penalties for false claims. The judge said Harman should get 30 percent of the $663 million award, or $199 million.
In a statement, Trinity denied any allegations of fraud and says the judgment should be reversed.
Our investigation found thousands of these kinds of guardrails on our highways - and that the State Department of Transportation doesn't keep track of where they all are.