Hamilton County Man Awarded $8.4 Million Verdict in ATV Case

By: Release
By: Release

February 3, 2012 --

The Didier Law Firm, P.A. obtained an $8.4 million dollar verdict yesterday on behalf of 36-year old Jasper, FL resident Michael Joseph Scott Corbett. A 6-member jury for the Third Judicial Circuit Court in Jasper, FL deliberated for just over three hours before making their decision.

The case involved the 2008 Artic Cat Thundercat 1000 ATV, which Mr. Corbett was test-driving at the Jasper Rodeo on May 4, 2008. Within minutes of beginning the ride, Mr. Corbett hit a divot causing the ATV to roll over and land on top of him with the tires in direct contact with his body. The ATV has a safety system which, upon tilting past 65 degrees, is designed to shut off the engine automatically to prevent injuries. Despite such design, Artic Cat chose to use a tilt sensor that was known to give false signals about the vehicle’s position, and, as a result, the ATV did not shut off in this accident. Internal documents of Artic Cat revealed they knew five months before manufacturing this ATV that it had a problem with the tilt sensor, but chose to leave the tilt sensor on the ATV instead of fixing it.

“This company put profits over people – saving a mere $4.41 cents per vehicle - when it knowingly put an ATV with a defectively designed safety system into the market,” said Plaintiff’s counsel, Henry “Hank” Didier.

As a direct result of his injuries, Mr. Corbett will never again be able to work in the construction industry, where he was previously a successful foreman. Also, due to the severe friction burns he sustained to both arms, both legs and his abdomen because of contact with the spinning tires, Mr. Corbett faces numerous additional surgeries in the future to address his wounds and scars.

“The industry is well aware that ATVs can and do roll over in all types of situations, and safety systems, like the automatic safety cut-off system on this ATV, are critical to protect users and save lives. In this case, despite knowing that its safety system didn't work, this company chose to use a tilt sensor that does not shut down the ATV when desired. In fact, it continues to use it in its models today, putting thousands of riders at risk,” added Mr. Didier.

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  • by Dean Location: Sarasota on Feb 20, 2012 at 07:02 PM
    The case testimony shows the blood alcohol level of the guy was .118! He started drinking at 10 AM and probably consumed over 20 beers by the time of his mess-up. He is an alcoholic and could conseal his intoxication to the unknowing sales rep. At .118 BAC one's level of reaction is so impaired that instead of jumping off an overturning machine, he tried to stay on it like a fool. At .118 BAC one's mind can only focus on one thing (staying on) instead of multi-tasking (knowing it's going over and jumping off). None of this is the ATV's fault. Also the plantiff met with and bought alcohol for one of the jury members, she talked to the other jury members, and instead of a mistrial, the judge dismissed the one juror!!!! Unbelieveable case and so so wrong. I hope an appeal gets the case retried in another (and hopefully civilized) place. I don't think a safety switch is mandatory so if it didn't work--so what. I hope Artic Cat wins an appeal and that they take any safety sensors off. You can't engineer safety for a moron alcoholic.
  • by WTH Location: Close by on Feb 11, 2012 at 05:24 AM
    Hick up...what warning labels? We don't need no stinking warnings........why don't we get drunk & SUE!
  • by carol on Feb 8, 2012 at 07:35 AM
    i really think the big picture is the manufacturer failed in the safety department that dose not make him a low life or greedy he suffered severe injury because the safety switch didn't work not because the machine flipped and anyone on here says they wouldn't do the same thing come on at least be honest with yourself and old friend ha ha i am sure your in line with everyone else now if you know him you know he has suffered severely
  • by robert Location: winter park on Feb 7, 2012 at 07:23 AM
    just another stupid case by a greedy trial attorney so he can pay for his nanny and big house. what a shame
  • by WTH Location: Close by on Feb 6, 2012 at 06:35 AM
    R U Kidding me??? This is another case of low life people bucking the system. WOW! Unbelieveable....now let's see how many new friends show up
  • by ???? on Feb 5, 2012 at 06:45 PM
  • by old friend Location: jasper on Feb 4, 2012 at 02:39 PM
    I know Scott personally and I can guarantee he was drunk at the time of riding that fourwheeler. So I don't blame the machine I blame bud light
    • reply
      by carol on Feb 8, 2012 at 07:21 AM in reply to old friend
      the man didn't sue because the machine flipped if the safety switch was on there and working the damage would have been minimal and the law suit wouldn't have occurred the fact that the switch failed caused a lot of injury and as an (old friend) you know that drunk or sober someone gave him the key and said go for it some friend bet you stand there in line with all the fakes
  • by JBar Location: Tallahassee on Feb 4, 2012 at 01:13 PM
    Where can I sign up? I've got the Artic Cat, now to find a place to flip it... But then again I have integrity so even if the accident was remotely my fault I wouldn't sue. I wonder if he read the warning labels on the ATV before he rode.
  • by Reactions Location: Jasper on Feb 4, 2012 at 05:59 AM
    If the trial had been held in another town where the jury had not been made up of close friends and family, chances are the outcome would have been diffrent. If the case did come out against Artic Cat the would have probably had a much smaller settlement and the actions of one person would not have been able to make such a large impact on the case. This case was a joke and should have been thrown out with the jurror.
  • by been rideing for 30 years never had an accident Location: ga on Feb 3, 2012 at 03:52 PM
    maby they should move the business overseas to get out from under the usa laws. give the jobe to the asians.
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