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ARTICLE ID 5922

$________ International Harvester utility tractor defect - Fuel tank assembly allegedly defective - Pressure accumulates in filler neck - Fuel explodes out of partially opened gas cap dousing plaintiff - Second and third degree burns to 42% of body - Good from injuries.

Hancock County, Ohio

The male plaintiff farmer brought this products liability action for injuries suffered while operating a ________ International Harvester ________ Utility Tractor. The plaintiff contended that the fuel tank assembly was unreasonably dangerous and defective, causing an explosion of hot fuel which covered the plaintiff’s body, leaving him with extensive second and third degree burns.

The subject accident occurred on October of ________, while the plaintiff was farming. The plaintiff was prepared to offer expert testimony that the fuel tank assembly on this utility tractor, was defective and unreasonably dangerous in several respects.

First, the plaintiff argued that the fuel tank assembly was inherently dangerous because of its location and the absence of a heat shield between the engine and the tank. Second, the plaintiff contended that the actual filler neck leading to the tank, was so narrow as to allow a build up of gas and fumes.

The plaintiff suffered second and third degree burns over 40 to 50% of his body. He was hospitalized for one month following the accident, during which he underwent one surgical procedure. The plaintiff made a good recovery but is left with scarring and skin sensitivity.

The defendant had the tractor examined by its expert, who determined that the subject tractor was one of a class cited by p 7 3 the Federal Trade Commission for certain design problems. The focus of the defense would have been on the issue of damages, with the defendant noting the plaintiff’s excellent recovery and the fact that he was able to return to farming following a period of recuperation.

The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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