Yamaha Rhino ATV Litigation Consolidated in Kentucky

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ordered that Yamaha Rhino ATV lawsuits filed in various federal districts throughout the United States will be centralized and consolidated for pretrial litigation in the Western District of Kentucky before Judge Jennifer B. Coffman.

The Yamaha Rhino litigation currently consists of 55 different product liability lawsuits filed in 33 different U.S. District Courts.

All of the cases involve allegations that a Yamaha Rhino rollover accident was caused by defects in the ATV which gave it a propensity to tip over. Some of the cases also allege that Yamaha failed to take steps to safely contain the riders and reduce the risk of injury if a Rhino does tip over.

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Several plaintiffs asked the Panel to transfer the cases to one Court as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, where a single judge can coordinate the pretrial litigation and discovery.

Although each of the cases involve unique facts about how the accidents occurred and different backgrounds on how the ATV may have been modified or maintained, the MDL Panel found that centralization was appropriate and would eliminate duplicative Yamaha discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings and conserve the resources of the parties and the Courts.

Under the federal rules which govern Multidistrict Litigation, if the cases do not settle or otherwise resolve during pretrial litigation, they will be returned back to the individual U.S. District Court where they were filed for discovery.

Every federal Yamaha Rhino Rollover lawsuit filed in any U.S. District Court throughout the country will be transferred to Judge Coffman in the Western District of Kentucky. This Court was selected because it was in a central location and Judge Coffman was said to have the “time and commitment necessary to steer these cases on a fair and expeditious course.”

Two specific cases were excluded from the Transfer Order, as the MDL Panel indicated that both actions were already near the end of discovery, trial dates had already been scheduled and none of the parties to the lawsuits were in favor of having their case transferred to the MDL.

In the order issued February 13, 2009 and published on the Judicial Panel’s website today, Chairman of the Panel, Judge John G. Heyburn, II, indicated that if Judge Coffman finds that any other of the remaining 53 cases transferred become ready for trial, she may suggest that the Panel remand the actions to the transferor court.

The first federal Yamaha Rhino lawsuit appears to have been filed in August 2007 and the number of lawsuits has continued to mount throughout the country. While the number of state court cases filed has not been confirmed by Yamaha, media reports have suggested that there are over 200 lawsuits pending throughout the country.

In the Order, the MDL Panel pointed out that the number of cases in the Yamaha Rhino litigation is likely to continue to grow, as 40 of the 55 cases were filed last year. In addition, Yamaha Rhino accident lawyers throughout the United States are continuing to review and investigate potential lawsuits for individuals who suffered injuries when their ATV rolled over.

5 Comments

  • kevinMay 13, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    again the rhino is labeled clearly for everyone to see that its use is for off road only. not to be driven on the pavement. Who fault is it he was riding on the pavement ....Parents maybe???????

  • DAVISNovember 10, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    My son is dead. He was a passenger. He was riding with his cousin at a low rate of speed on flat pavement. They hit a bump in the road. The Rhino rolled on my son. He is dead.

  • johnMarch 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Yamaha needs to be responsible for their OWN actions. 1) They purposley used seat belts that do NOT restrain you in a lateral roll over. 2) They did not use crash test dummies in a roll over test to see what would happen to the human body. Plus MUCH more......www.yamaha-rhino-information.com

  • Yamaha Rhino UTV Safety Report Released by Advocates and Victims : AboutLawsuits.comMarch 3, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    [...] month, all federal Yamaha Rhino lawsuits were consolidated in an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, which has been centralized in the United States District court for [...]

  • jim l.February 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I was told at the time I purchased my Geo Tracker in the 90's that it was a dangerous machine that was prone to have roll overs. I drove that fun car with my daughter for almost 10 yrs before selling it. My daughter cried when it left. It was as much fun as a Rhino and alot faster. Point? I drove it correctly, and it never rolled over! I do the same in a Rhino. Accidents happed to idiots who don't[Show More]I was told at the time I purchased my Geo Tracker in the 90's that it was a dangerous machine that was prone to have roll overs. I drove that fun car with my daughter for almost 10 yrs before selling it. My daughter cried when it left. It was as much fun as a Rhino and alot faster. Point? I drove it correctly, and it never rolled over! I do the same in a Rhino. Accidents happed to idiots who don't respect what they drive, within the limits of the unit. I say ban Idiot people, before the machine!

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