Kentucky Court of Appeals Affirms Defense Verdict in ATV Rollover Case

The Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals recently affirmed a defense verdict in a jury trial in Kentucky, Shea v Bombardier Recreational Products, on behalf of Bombardier Recreational Products. The female plaintiff was rendered a quadriplegic while riding a 2007 Bombardier Can-Am Outlander XT 4X 650 All Terrain Vehicle (“ATV”). Plaintiff’s theory was that the rear brake was defective in that riders could inadvertently apply it without noticing, and that her inadvertent release of the brake caused the ATV to accelerate and tip over while climbing a hill. Making this case more complicated was the fact that there was an earlier recall addressing the rear brake but the dealer, who sold the ATV to the plaintiff, had not installed the brake recall kit. Plaintiff’s jury demand was $45 million. The jury found there was no connection between the absence of the brake recall kit and the tip over of the ATV.

October 2012