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ARTICLE ID 194690

DEFENDANT’S PRODUCT LIABILITY – DEFECTIVE DESIGN OF ATV – MINOR PLAINTIFF SERIOUSLY INJURED WHEN THROTTLE OF ATV SHE WAS RIDING STUCK AND ACCELERATED SUDDENLY, CAUSING ATV TO SPEED UP A HILL AND OVERTURN – RIGHT FEMUR FRACTURE – HIP FRACTURE – RSD – ORIF SURGERY

Allegheny County, PA

The minor plaintiff, in this product liability action, was seriously injured and required several surgeries after the ATV she was riding overturned when the throttle stuck, resulting in the quad to suddenly accelerate up a hill. The defense maintained that the throttle and the ATV were properly designed, and that the minor plaintiff caused the accident.

On May 13, ________, the 14-year-old female was riding a ATV/quad manufactured by the defendant. As the plaintiff was riding the quad, the throttle of the ATV stuck, and the vehicle gained uncontrollable speed. At that point, it was traveling up a steep hill, causing the plaintiff to be thrown off the quad, which then landed on top of her, causing severe injuries to the plaintiff. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant company defectively designed the ATV, and negligently allowed fluid to enter the throttle box, causing interference with normal operation of the throttle. In addition, the defense was negligent in designing a vehicle that was both laterally and longitudinally unstable with a high center of gravity and no driver retention system. The plaintiff suffered a right femur fracture, hip fracture, vascular necrosis of femoral head, RSD, sciatic nerve injury, ORIF surgery of femoral neck, hip relocation, and hip reconstruction, followed by a full hip arthroplasty two years later. The defendant denied all allegations that the quad was defective in any way, and argued that the minor plaintiff was 14 years old at the time of the incident, and the quad was designed for those 16 years old and up. The defense maintained that the minor rode too fast and carelessly and caused the quad to overturn.The jury found that the defendant’s quad was not defectively designed.

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