Product liability lawsuit underway in court
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — Jury selection began Monday in a product liability suit against a South Korean tire manufacturer. The composition of the jury is expected to be announced this morning and, according to Circuit Judge Julian King, the trial is expected to last for about two weeks.

King explained to potential jurors that this suit was being brought by the daughter of a man killed in a cement mixer accident on Aug. 29, 2006.

The mixer was being driven by Stephen Earl Phillips on Alabama 77 North in Lincoln when the tread on the Hankook tire on the right front side separated from the rest of the tire. Phillips suffered a severe head injury in the accident, and died as a result in October.

The plaintiffs in this case say the evidence will show the tire was defectively made. The defendants counter that Phillips’ employer, Waites Construction, did not maintain the vehicle’s tires properly.

Once the jury and two alternates are seated in King’s courtroom, the remaining members of the jury pool will be sent across the hall to Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth’s courtroom, where two more juries will be struck.

One of these will try Cedric Lamar Keith, 36, for the murder of Magdalene Marbury, then 26, at his home in Childersburg. Marbury was shot to death in 2009.

If convicted, Keith faces 20 to 99 years or life in prison.

The second jury in Hollingsworth’s courtroom will be trying a civil case brought by Sherman Scales against the Talladega Police Department. Scales is alleging he was wrongfully arrested and imprisoned and that his reputation had been damaged.

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© 2012