A 14-year-old girl who lost her leg as a child has been awarded millions by a jury after she filed a personal injury lawsuit against a lawnmower manufacturer - and her own father.
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In 2006, the plaintiff was only two-years-old. She was enjoying the great outdoors while her father took care of the yard. But in a matter of seconds, her life was forever changed. Her father, not realizing how close she was, put the lawnmower in reverse and hit her. The tires and the blades of the mower went right over the lower part of her body.
The damage to her tiny body was catastrophic and despite her doctor’s best efforts, they were unable to save one of her legs.
Once she was old enough to understand exactly what had happened, she explored her legal options and ultimately decided to file a lawsuit against her father and the manufacturer of the lawnmower, John Deere. In her complaint, she alleged that her father, who is now serving time in prison for child molestation, was negligent for failing to see her and for hitting her with the mower. She further alleged that the manufacturer was negligent because a defect in the mower allowed it to go up and over her body.
The representatives for John Deere insisted that the mower was not defective and that the fault was the plaintiff’s father.
After a lengthy trial, a jury determined that both of the defendants were at fault and awarded her more than $12 million, $2.7 million to be paid by her father and $9.5 million to be paid by the manufacturer.
Most people are aware that there is a statute of limitations in most cases, which means that the plaintiffs only have a short period of time to file their complaint. In most cases, depending on the type of lawsuit, this time period is around 2-3 years. However, in some cases, additional factors can impact the statute of limitations.
For example, if a plaintiff is involved in a medical malpractice case involving a surgical mistake such as leaving a foreign object in the body, they may be able to file their lawsuit even if years have passed, as long as they only recently became aware of what was causing their poor health. Then, the statute of limitations begins from the time they were informed of the medical mistake.
When a child is hurt, depending on the situation, there may be several legal options available. Their legal guardian may be able to file on their behalf, or, when the child is older and are made aware of their legal rights, they may be able to pursue legal action.
This question is always difficult to answer. In many cases, an accident occurs and it’s fairly obvious that a product caused the user or someone in the vicinity to be harmed. An excellent example of this can be found in the thousands of lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who were seriously hurt when a pressure cooker exploded while they used it for cooking.
However, in other cases, it’s not initially obvious that a device has been defective. Often, this means that the defect lies in the design. For example, surgeons have long used power morcellators in endoscopic surgery to remove what were thought to be benign growths in the uterus, only to find that many of these contain cancer cells. The cutting action of the morcellator literally sends these cells spinning throughout the body cavity and as a result, patients have been diagnosed with deadly cancer that could have simply been removed through traditional open cavity surgery.
The best way to determine if a defective product contributed to the harm you have sustained is to contact an experienced attorney who will review the case and consult with industry experts. At Banville Law, we will fully review each aspect and then inform you of your legal rights. Contact us today.