When companies produce a product, they bear the responsibility of making consumers in Kentucky and across the country aware of any associated risks involved with the product's use. Recently, a jury determined in a products liability lawsuit that the makers of a hunting tree stand did not properly alert consumers to potential risks of its product. The jury determined their failure to do so was worth $18.5 million for one man.
The man was turkey hunting on his friend's property and decided to use a hunting stand that had been purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods and installed five or years prior. The stand was strapped to the tree by polypropylene straps provided by the company, and the failure of the straps was determined to have resulted in the accident. While the man was on the stand, it collapsed and he was seriously injured. He sued the stand maker, claiming that potential risks were not clearly indicated to users.
They jury agreed with the man's claim, but they also felt the man was partially to blame for his injuries. According to court records, the man attempted to use the stand accompanied by a child, but he did not inspect its stability. He was also not wearing a safety harness which may have prevented his injuries. Because the man is partially at fault, his monetary award will adjusted accordingly. Since his accident, he has suffered paralysis and chronic pain as a result; he also went through a divorce.
As the man in this incident, injuries can result in a reduced quality of life, expensive indefinite medical treatment and stress on relationships. While everyone bears responsibility for their own safety, companies bear responsibility to provide safe and adequate warnings on their products. Any Kentucky resident who feels they have suffered unnecessary injury due to the negligence of a company may benefit from speaking to a lawyer about filing a products liability lawsuit.
Source: courier-journal.com, "Jury awards $18.5 million to hunter who sued treestand manufacturer for injuries", Andrew Wolfson, Aug. 11, 2017