Settlement reached in Donohue case

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. reached a settlement Wednesday and dropped appeals of a $9.6 million judgment awarded the family of race car driver Mark Donohue, who was killed an Austrian Grand Prix crash.

David Carroll, Goodyear's local lawyer, said papers have been filed withdrawing the appeal and 'dismissing all claims' in the case.


A Superior Court jury in 1984 found Goodyear of Akron, Ohio, and Penske Corp. of Reading, Pa., liable in the Austrian Grand Prix crash that killed Donohue in 1975. It is the largest award ever returned in Rhode Island state court.

The jury ruled the crash occurred because the left front tire on Donohue's race car was defectively manufactured.

Under an agreement, both sides are prevented from disclosing the terms of the settlement.

The jury decided that both Goodyear and Penske, which had Donohue under contract, were liable under Rhode Island law's 'strict liability' doctrine.

The case was tried in Rhode Island because David Lawton, the executor of Donohue's estate, lives in Lincoln. Lawton declined comment on the case Wednesday.

After the verdict was returned, Justice Anthony Giannini ruled that Goodyear, as the product's maker, would pay the entire penalty.


Donohue's wife, Eden Donohue Rafshoon, will share the settlement with Donohue's two teenage sons from his first marriage.

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