A Georgia jury this week awarded a couple, damages of $317,000 in the first product liability lawsuit related to injuries from Yamaha Rhino All-Terrain Vehicles.
Roger McTaggart was injured in 2007 when his ATV flipped over, trapping his leg. He suffered crushing injuries in the accident. McTaggart filed a lawsuit against Yamaha, alleging defects in the Rhino ATV. According to his attorneys, the accident occurred on a flat piece of land on which it should have been safe to ride an ATV. McTaggart claimed in his lawsuit, that the Yamaha Rhino should’ve come with doors that would have contained the rider’s legs, thereby preventing crushing injuries in case of a rollover..
Not surprisingly, Yamaha insisted that the injuries were caused not because of any inherent stability defect in the Rhino, but simply because the driver operated the vehicle in a reckless manner. It’s highly likely that Yamaha will pursue this line of defense in most of the Rhino product liability lawsuits that are pending against it. Yamaha plans to appeal the verdict.
The verdict is likely to encourage plaintiffs’ attorneys representing clients who have suffered injuries in accidents involving Yamaha Rhino ATVs. This ATV accident resulted in no amputations or other serious injuries. It was considered a test case, and attorneys wanted to see how the case would proceed, and how juries would react to allegations that Yamaha failed to create a safe product.
Now that the jury has returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs, it bodes well for several Yamaha Rhino product liability lawsuits that are still pending in the state. Most of these product liability lawsuits have been filed in Gwinnett County because Yamaha Motor Corp. USA’s registered agent is located in Gwinnett County.
The Atlanta product liability attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent injured victims of defective products around Georgia.