By MEG KINNARD, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - Two lawsuits accuse a guardrail manufacturer of design flaws that led to one woman's death and another's permanent disfigurement.

The lawsuits filed Wednesday in South Carolina and Tennessee accuse the Lindsay Corporation of negligence in the design of X-LITE guardrails. The suit says that instead of collapsing to absorb impact when vehicles hit them, the guardrails pierced through vehicles, killing one woman and injuring another so severely she had to have a leg amputated.

Scrutiny of the guardrails has prompted Tennessee and other states to remove them from their roadways, but South Carolina transportation officials said they would leave the rails in place until they are damaged or outlive their lifespan.

X-LITE has said its guardrails meet federal guidelines and that no system can stop every fatality or injury.

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