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ARTICLE ID 189183

– PRODUCT LIABILITY – DEFECTIVE DESIGN OF TRACTOR – TRACTOR DESIGN FAILS TO SHUT OFF POWER WHEN PLAINTIFF IS EJECTED FROM OPERATOR SEAT – PLAINTIFF IS RUN OVER BY TRACTOR – EXTENSIVE INJURIES INCLUDING MULTIPLE FRACTURES, CRUSHED PELVIS AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.

San Diego County, CA

In this product liability matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was liable because the defendant’s seat assembly was defectively manufactured and defectively designed. As a result of the defects, the plaintiff suffered significant injuries when he was run over by the tractor including multiple bone fractures and a traumatic brain injury. The defendant denied any liability and disputed damages asserted by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff was employed by the school district and was riding a commercial mower tractor with a seat manufactured by the defendant seat manufacturer. While operating the mower, the plaintiff was ejected from his seat and then run over by the tractor as he was attempting to aerate a sports field. The plaintiff contended that the seat and its safety system were defective. The plaintiff contended that the seat switch on the seat was defective, in that it was supposed to shut off power to the engine if the operator left the seat while the tractor was in the drive mode or there was power to one of the attachments. This did not happen and the mower ran over the plaintiff after he was ejected from the seat.

As a result of the incident, the plaintiff sustained serious injuries. He was diagnosed with multiple fractures including fractures to his arm and shoulder, a crushed pelvis and hip joint. He was also diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury that he alleged caused him to suffer severe cognitive deficits. The plaintiff brought suit against the seat manufacturer alleging that the seat switch was defective and that the seat lacked a safety belt.

The plaintiff asked the jury for approximately $________ in economic damages and $________ in non-economic damages. The defendant seat manufacturer denied the plaintiff’s allegations and maintained that the defendant was only a component part manufacturer and was not legally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.After a three and a-half week trial, the jury deliberated for five hours and returned its verdict in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff. The plaintiff has appealed the verdict.

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