The latest in a long line of Yamaha Rhino ATV lawsuits, filed by injured riders, focuses on a Florida customer who broke her ankle during a test ride. A Delaware man sold his Rhino after rolling it twice, and a 60-year-old lady who bought it to haul firewood has also filed a lawsuit. The lawsuits point to scores of injuries that could have been prevented if the ATV had a leg restraint.
The defendants have objected to Kitzes’ testimony in the Yamaha Rhino ATV lawsuit, arguing that it does not adequately establish whether or not the ATV was defective. However, Kitzes groups his opinions into five categories: the warnings, the scientific basis of the risks, Yamaha’s knowledge of the safety hazards, and the company’s alleged non-compliance with applicable laws.
Exponent is a company that specializes in accident reconstruction and third-party vehicle testing. Yamaha hired an Exponent to test the Rhino to determine if limbs would be likely to break free in the event of an accident. The sled tip-up tests were particularly controversial, and plaintiffs challenge part of the engineer’s testimony because of the lack of independent verification of the dummy.
The main issue with Downs’s testimony is whether or not he will help the jury determine whether Yamaha’s actions were reasonable. He believes that Yamaha violated Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), which requires manufacturers to notify the agency if their products pose a serious risk of injury. In his report, Downs states that he will provide a factual opinion.
While Downs has a technical background, he is not an engineer. He testified that he knew about the dangers associated with the Rhino due to incident reports and testing results. But he does not propose to testify in the manner suggested by Yamaha. The court may find that Downs’s testimony is not relevant because he does not testify about the particular tests Yamaha should have done or should have conducted.
The trial court will hear testimony from the expert witness who will testify in the Yamaha Rhino ATV lawsuit. According to Yamaha, Downs’s testimony is not relevant because it does not address any concrete issue that was responsible for the Rhino’s defects. The expert’s testimony, however, will be crucial to the jury’s ability to determine whether Yamaha acted reasonably. While Downs does not testify in the lawsuit, he may be able to provide evidence to support a plaintiff’s case based on the CPSA’s standards.
In a recent trial, a panel of experts from the safety commission reviewed the evidence provided by plaintiffs in the Rhino ATV lawsuit. Cooper’s testimony was particularly important because he was the passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident, during which the Rhino tipped over and killed him. Jeremy Crow was ejected from the seat; Ellie Sand was ejected as a result of her driver’s decision to turn. The weight of the roll cage caused her to crash and flip, and Cooper crawled to safety for help.
In his defense, the Yamaha Motor Corporation disputes the plaintiffs’ claims of negligent occupant protection. The company maintains that its Rhino ATVs are designed and manufactured to protect riders from serious injury. The lawsuit was filed after a Florida customer suffered a broken ankle while on a test ride with a salesman. It also points to the company’s failure to install adequate safety measures in its vehicles.
In addition, the plaintiffs challenge Breen’s testimony on occupant containment. In his report, Breen argues that the Yamaha Rhino’s occupant protection system is not defective and that proper use of protective apparel offers reasonable protection against serious injury. The plaintiffs argue that Breen lacks the proper qualifications to speak on occupant containment and that he failed to support his testimony sufficiently.
Cooper’s surrogate study
In Cooper’s surrogate study of the Yamaha Rhino ATV lawsuit, Robert Larson, an engineering consultant, opines that the occupants’ limbs would leave the vehicle. The plaintiffs challenge some of Larson’s testimony based on “sled tip-up tests,” which involve two crash test dummies and a Yamaha Rhino 660.
The key question to ask is whether the seatbelts in Larson were properly buckled. The plaintiffs spend most of their brief criticizing the STU tests. But the vast majority of their critique applies to Larson. This case is unique because of the lateral movement of the Yamaha Rhino. Unlike other cases, however, Larson’s accident was unique.