Defense Verdict in ATV Misuse and Failure to Warn Matter

Shotts v. Bombardier. While attempting to tow his brother’s ATV out of a ravine and up a steep hill, plaintiff’s ATV manufactured by Bombardier flipped over, rendering plaintiff a paraplegic. Plaintiff had attached a tow strap to the luggage rack on his ATV rather than the tow hitch located several feet below. Plaintiff contended that Bombardier failed to warn against towing from the luggage rack, relying on a label on a competitor’s model which warned against that action. The court granted Bombardier’s Motion for a Jury View which required the importation of six amphibious vehicles in order to transport the jury to the accident site. Venued in federal court in Indianapolis, Indiana, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for Bombardier.