Greg Allen reached another settlement recently of a case involving another tragic Bad Boy Buggy incident. We have been warning about the dangers of these vehicles for a very long time. While Textron, the manufacturer, has made improvements in the design of these machines over the years, there still are serious safety problems. Sadly, we expect to see additional cases involving Bad Boy buggies in the future. I will tell more about this tragic case.
Adam and Debra Pike, who are from Macon, Ga., lost their son, Cody, when a Bad Boy vehicle turned over. Cody’s head was trapped between the roof structure and the ground. The 2012 Bad Boy XTO did not have seatbelts or any type of occupant retention device, including doors or netting, which allowed Cody to be ejected as the cart turned over.
Cody’s best friend was driving the Bad Boy when they turned a corner into some honeysuckles. There was a small hidden pile of dirt under the honeysuckles, which caused the vehicle to tip over. The cart was essentially stopped at the time that it turned over. According to our reconstruction expert, the cart was traveling slower than 5 miles an hour when the left wheel hit the bump hidden by the brush.
Greg, our leading product liability lawyer, did a tremendous job for his clients in the case. He discovered that there were videos made advertising the XTO. In pre-trial discovery, Greg issued an out-of-state subpoena for the advertising videotapes that were made of the vehicle. Greg, assisted by Carol Thompson, our most experienced paralegal, obtained the outtakes for the commercials and discovered that in one of the commercials, an XTO nearly tipped during the filming. The passenger on that vehicle was ejected onto the ground. Through additional Discovery, Greg was able to determine that the ejected passenger was an executive assistant at Textron. The case settled before Greg had the opportunity to take the deposition of this Textron employee.
Cody Pike was a remarkable young man. He was very interested in military aircraft. Cody’s father works on the air force base in Warner Robins, Ga. Whenever the family would go on vacation, Cody would find the nearest war memorial or museum and the family would have to stop and look. He was also very interested in farming. Cody was an avid seatbelt wearer. His family will miss him dearly. It’s a tragic shame this young man’s life was cut short. He was only 14 years old when he lost his life and it was his first and last experience with a Bad Boy Buggy.
Cody and his friend were not doing anything that would be considered dangerous. The buggy was being operated as intended. They had no way of knowing that this buggy was so poorly designed. Cody’s parents were not present and knew nothing about the Bad Boy before this tragic day. The Bad Boy Buggy was owned by the friend’s uncle. The XTO is an extremely heavy vehicle, weighing more than 1,700 pounds. That’s because of the numerous batteries the vehicle uses as a source of power. The XTO is a derivative from the Bad Boy Classic, which we have written about before.
Greg was able to discover that Textron was cutting an advertisement for a new and improved XTO the very same month the vehicle involved in this incident was manufactured. The voice over for the ad for the new vehicle states:
And the new XTO’s Occupant Protection System provides a robust tubular steel frame, 3-point seatbelts, side safety nets and head rests to keep you safe when the going gets rough.
Unfortunately, the design of the buggy that killed Cody had none of these safety features. That is totally inexcusable. Textron claimed that the vehicle met SAE-J-2258, which is a stability standard; but Greg tested the 2012 XTO and it failed. This vehicle is unstable and there were no restraints or other safety features provided that would prevent the tip over from causing this tragic incident.
Our firm, led by Greg Allen, was associated in this case with Jarome Gautreaux and Rick Sizemore of Gautreaux & Sizemore, a law firm located at 778 Mulberry Street, Macon, Ga., 31201. These men are excellent lawyers and we were honored to be associated with them in this case.
As I mentioned above, if you want more information on the Bad Boy Buggy litigation, contact Greg at 800-898-2034 or by email at Greg.Allen@beasleyallen.com.