A Binghamton, NY jury returned a defense verdict for Arctic Cat in a product liability case alleging that defects in a 2007 Arctic Cat Prowler caused the plaintiff to suffer severe leg fractures. Arctic Cat was represented by Christy Mennen of Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, in Minneapolis, and Jim Ughetta and Michael Bai of Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park & Kelly LLP in Purchase, NY and New York City, respectively.
The accident occurred when the plaintiff, a 51-year-old mother of three, allegedly overturned the side-by-side Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV) on a paved road when she swerved to avoid a protruding mailbox. Her leg was trapped beneath the vehicle.
The plaintiff’s liability expert, Syracuse University professor Lawrence Feer, asserted design claims but was precluded by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy on Daubert grounds. The case went to the jury on the allegation that Arctic Cat’s on-product labeling was defective for not warning against use on pavement. Arctic Cat called Dr. Allen Dorris to rebut the warnings claims.
The plaintiff also asserted that the selling dealership, Gander Mountain Company, was negligent for, inter alia, giving test drives on a paved lot. The jury rejected the claims against Gander Mountain.
The case, heard in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, was captioned: Barbara Williams and Craig Williams, her husband, v. Arctic Cat, Inc., Arctic Cat, Arctic Cat Production, LLC, Arctic Cat Production Support, LLC, Arctic Cat Sales, Inc., Arctic Cat Shares Services, LLC, Gander Mountain Company, and Gander Direct Marketing Services, LLC.