Another Yamaha Rhino Lawsuit

A lawsuit has just been filed against Yamaha Motor Corporation, Yamaha Manufacturing, and Yamaha Motor Company for “strict liability, negligence, and breach of implied and express warranties,” said the Texas Record. Krissy Henry alleges that she was injured when riding as a passenger on <"">Yamaha’s Rhino ATV, claiming that the ATV was “defective and unfit for its intended use,” reported the Texas Record. The suit against Yamaha was filed by Krissi and Jason Henry on June 17, 2009 in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Papers from the lawsuit allege that the Yamaha ATV was being operated on “relatively flat terrain” when it “rolled over toward the passenger side,” said the Texas Record, which noted that Henry injured her right leg. “The Yamaha Rhino ATV was placed in the stream of commerce in a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous to the users thereof, and not fit for its intended use and reasonably foreseeable purposes,” the complaint alleges, and that the “defendants are negligent for failure to provide adequate warnings and safe operating instructions.”

Earlier this year, Yamaha Motor Corp. USA recalled 120,000 dangerous Rhino off-road vehicles. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the defective Yamaha Rhino vehicles have been linked to 46 deaths. Also according to the CPSC, it has investigated more than 50 incidents involving 46 driver and passenger deaths in two of Yamaha’s Rhino models. More than two-thirds of the cases involved rollovers and many involved unbelted occupants. Of the rollover-related deaths and hundreds of reported injuries, some of which were serious, many appear to involve turns at relatively low speeds and on level terrain, the CPSC said.

We have long been reporting about the dangers associated with the Yamaha Rhino. The CPSC decided to investigate the Yamaha Rhino last November because of the high number of accident and death reports involving the vehicle, as wells as the high number of product liability suits—at least 200—filed by people who claim they were injured by the Rhino.

While off-road vehicles are involved in hundreds of accidents every year, critics allege the Yamaha Rhino is even more likely to be involved in deadly rollover accidents. They charge that the Yamaha Rhino is top heavy, and it has tires that are extremely narrow. Allegedly, these design defects make it far more likely that the Yamaha Rhino will tip and rollover while going through a turn, even when the vehicle is traveling at a slow speed and is on a flat surface. These critics also charge Yamaha Rhino is designed in such a way that passengers’ legs are unprotected in the event of a rollover accident.

In their lawsuit, the Henry’s are seeking “damages for health care expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical disability and impairment, disfigurement, lost wages, loss of wage earning capacity, loss of consortium, loss of household services, pre and post-judgment interest,” said the Texas Record.

According to the many lawsuits filed over this ATV, victims of Yamaha Rhino rollover accidents usually experience broken or crushed legs, ankles or feet. In some cases, victims have been permanently disabled, and have had limbs amputated following a Yamaha Rhino rollover accident. When Yamaha Rhino rollover accidents involve children, the results are often fatal.

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