In the largest recovery of its kind in Fayette County, Galfand Berger Senior Partner Richard M. Jurewicz reached a $6 Million Dollar settlement in a case involving a 9-year old blinded from an all-terrain vehicle handlebar that punctured his left eye socket during an accident.
Mr. Jurewicz was able to secure this astounding recovery based on a creative theory of liability against the owner of the ATV and his two businesses.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the minor against the registered owner of the ATV. The owner’s two businesses were named as defendants because the employees of these two businesses used the ATV for purposes connected with business activities. One of the businesses was a shooting preserve with live bird hunts. The other business was an industrial weed control company.
The accident occurred when the minor child went out on the ATV and was startled by a loose hunting dog that escaped from a kennel. When the minor lost control of the ATV, it flipped over on top of him causing life-threatening injuries.
Mr. Jurewicz claimed that the ATV owner was liable for the minor’s injuries because when the owner purchased the ATV there were numerous warnings and instructional information provided by the ATV manufacturer. Damaging evidence also revealed that, at the time the owner purchased the ATV, he signed a receipt acknowledging in writing that no child under the age of 16 should be permitted to operate the vehicle. There was also a similar warning label on the fuel tank. Nevertheless, the ATV owner had purchased a helmet for the minor in order for him to ride the ATV.
Mr. Jurewicz claimed that the chain of events for this tragic accident was started by the owner purchasing a helmet for the minor and permitting him to ride the adult sized ATV, thereby ignoring explicit manufacturer warnings that came with the vehicle forbidding children under the age of 16 to ride or operate the ATV.
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