Our law firm settled a Bad Boy Buggy case recently involving the injury to then 12-year-old Grace Shivers. Grace, a beautiful and thoughtful young lady, and her parents live in Orange Beach, Ala. Grace’s grandfather owns a farm in Lowndes County, Ala.
Grace was a passenger on a 2013 model Bad Boy Buggy Recoil that was driven by Adam, her 16-year-old brother. They were traveling on a farm road when the vehicle tipped over onto the passenger side during a left turn. This was the first time Adam had driven the Bad Boy vehicle. He had previously driven other vehicles through the same curve at the same speed with no problems.
The Bad Boy Buggy is top heavy and has a tendency to roll over. As the vehicle was rolling over in the incident, Grace put her foot out, which is a known issue with side-by-side ROV vehicles. When her foot planted on the ground, the forward momentum of the vehicle fractured her leg. Grace suffered a compound fracture of her tibia and fibula, which resulted in a helicopter flight to UAB Hospital and numerous surgeries, including plastic surgery.
The Recoil is the updated version of the Bad Boy vehicle, which still lacks lower leg protection for roll over. Textron knew long before this vehicle was built that side-by-side recreational vehicles were prone to “leg-out injuries.” The reason the Yamaha Rhino and other ROV manufacturers have doors or netting is to prevent lower leg injury. In cases like this, it’s often the cost of safety features that drives the decision-making process.
Unfortunately, profits by companies are sometimes placed far ahead of safety on their priority list. Lower leg protection would have been an inexpensive alternative and should have been included in the design of the vehicle.
This case was settled before trial. Greg Allen from our firm, along with Howard Downey of the Downey Law Firm in Birmingham, Ala., handled the case. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Howard on this important case. Greg, who has handled a number of Bad Boy Buggy cases, says these vehicles are poorly designed and extremely dangerous. If you have any questions about this case or Bad Boy Buggy litigation generally, contact Greg at 800-898-2034 or by email at Greg.Allen@beasleyallen.com.