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ARTICLE ID 7860

CONFIDENTIAL Catastrophic head injuries suffered by plaintiff while riding allegedly defective Kawasaki ATC.

Valencia County, New Mexico

The suit was brought on behalf of Jeffrey Black, a minor, who suffered severe head injuries while riding a Kawasaki three- wheeled ATC. Mr. Black alleged negligence by Kawasaki, strict products liability and breach of implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

Jeffrey Black suffered catastrophic head injuries while operating a ________ KLT ________. Traveling along a dirt road, Jeffrey steered toward the side of the road to avoid two girls approaching on horseback. As he made the turn, the three-wheeler flipped, rolling over Jeffrey and resulting in a depressed skull fracture with brain hematoma. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of his accident.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs claimed that the three-wheeled Kawasaki ATC was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous.

The design defects included the three-wheel design, a high center of gravity, a short wheelbase, a lack of a differential, a lack of rear suspension and use of low-pressure, high traction tires.

Kawasaki’s defense claimed excessive speed and failure to wear a helmet.

Following substantial discovery and depositions of eyewitnesses to the accident, Kawasaki agreed to mediate the case and the parties reached a resolution of the matter. The confidential settlement is one of the largest settlements or verdicts obtained in the state of New Mexico in ________ and surpasses the largest verdict in the history of Valencia County, New Mexico. While p 7 3 these three-wheeled vehicles are no longer manufactured thanks to the governmental pressures of the CPSC, plaintiff’s counsel, Bob Bennett, believes that the ATV industry should recall these defective products to protect unsuspecting consumers like the Hagys. Recently, Mr. Bennett, with the help of PAPA (Parents Against the Production of Unsafe ATVs.), a Texas consumer group, turned over numerous documents to the CPSC in connection with another case Bennett settled with Yamaha for $3.2 million last September. Bennett hopes that this new data will help the CPSC pressure the ATV industry to make their four-wheel vehicles safer for the public and to issue a recall of all three-wheeled ATVs still in use.

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