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ARTICLE ID 185694

– PRODUCT LIABILITY – DEFECTIVE DESIGN OF YAMAHA ________ RHINO SIDE-BY-SIDE – ________ RHINO ALLEGEDLY LACKS ADEQUATE OCCUPANT PROTECTION – DEFECTIVE SEATS AND SEAT BELTS – HEAD INJURY – SOFT TISSUE INJURIES – PTSD ALLEGED.

San Bernardino County, CA

In this product liability matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant manufacturer was negligent in defectively designing its ________ Rhino side-by-side vehicle and failing to provide adequate occupant protection which resulted in the plaintiffs’ injuries. The defendant denied liability, disputed the allegations of defective design and maintained that the plaintiff driver was responsible for the crash and the resulting injuries to the plaintiffs.

On April 16, ________, the two male plaintiffs were the occupants of a ________ Yamaha Rhino side-by-side vehicle manufactured by the defendant. The plaintiffs alleged that when the vehicle struck two dirt berms the vehicle became airborne and overturned, resulting in injuries to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs alleged that the vehicle lacked adequate occupant protection from head and upper extremity injuries and alleged that the vehicle was sold with defective seats and belts which failed to work properly during the incident. The plaintiffs alleged that the vehicle should have been equipped with roll bar padding and four-point safety harnesses rather than the three-point seat belts.

As a result of the incident, the plaintiff driver sustained a head injury and soft tissue injury to his left shoulder. The occupant plaintiff sustained a left shoulder injury and alleged suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident.

The plaintiffs brought suit against the defendant on theories of negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, strict product liability, false representation and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The defendant denied the allegations. The defendant argued that its product was safe as designed and was defect free. The defendant argued that the plaintiff driver was the cause of the incident by driving recklessly at a high rate of speed and in failing to wear helmets as recommended by the defendant in its documentation.The matter proceeded to trial over a period of seven weeks. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for two and one-half hours before returning its verdict in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiffs. The jury’s vote was 9-3 in favor of the defendant.

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