In 1993, Beasley Allen represented the family of Durwood Spivey, a 67-year-old retired farmer, who was killed when his B-7100 Kubota tractor overturned. Mr. Spivey was trapped under the 2,500 pound tractor and crushed. His tractor, when sold, was not equipped with a rollover protection structure (ROPS), even though it had been available to the tractor industry since the 1950s. Even more unnerving, during the course of the litigation, Beasley Allen discovered that Kubota had considered the likelihood of possible future trials and punitive damages when it was making its decision about whether or not to equip the tractor with ROPS. Kubota decided to protect its bottom line rather than human life, and did not install the equipment that most likely would have saved Mr. Spivey’s life. After four days of trial, Kubota settled with the Spivey family for $10 million after damaging testimony was presented to the jury.
Many times after our skilled team of professional investigators
thoroughly examines a personal injury claim, a Beasley Allen lawyer will determine that the injury was caused by a defective product. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost more than $700 billion each year. We help ensure that manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.
A great number of the product liability claims we investigate are single vehicle accidents. In investigating automobile accidents and product liability cases over the past 30 years, we have seen many single vehicle accidents that were caused by a design defect or mechanical problem. Single vehicle accidents where the occupant received injuries disproportionate to the severity of the accident can often be traced back to a defect.
Single vehicle accident investigations have revealed product liability cases involving fuel-fed fires, roof crush in rollover crashes, seat belt failure, seat defects, tire blowouts, door latch failure, and vehicle occupant ejection.