A woman in Pensacola, Alabama, has been awarded $3.3 million in damages in her lawsuit against Yamaha. In 2007, Jackie McMahon was riding a Yamaha Rhino 660 four-wheeler on a family farm in Alabama; she tried to make a right turn on flat terrain at slow speed, but the four-wheeler overturned on top of her, badly injuring her leg and arm.
The Rhino, which was released in 2003, has been targeted by hundreds of civil suits over the injuries it has caused; in 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced it had received reports of 70 deaths caused by Rhino crashes. McMahon’s attorney, Fred Levin argued Yamaha was guilt of “wanton misconduct” for failing to recall the vehicle. This was McMahon’s second suit against Yamaha; she lost her case in 2010, when she sued the manufacturer for negligence. McMahon appealed, and an appeals court judge sent the case back to the lower court for retrial. In the second trial (which resulted in the largest award so far in ongoing Yamaha Rhino national litigation), her attorneys took a different approach: “This time we tried the case against the company’s conduct. Our focus was that the company did wrong, not that the product was defective.”
The attorneys argued Yamaha should have recalled the Rhino over its history of overturning at relatively slow speeds over flat terrain. They presented evidence demonstrating that shortly after the Rhino 660 went onto the market, consumer networks and dealers started receiving reports that users were experiencing overturns even at slow speeds. But Yamaha kept selling the four-wheeler, putting profits ahead of safety. In six hours, the jury returned a guilty verdict, awarding punitive damages of $2 million and compensatory damages of $1.3 million.
If you or someone you care for has suffered an injury as a result of negligence, you have options. Contact Mike Agruss Law, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
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