Yamaha Rhino Lawsuit Filed for Debilitating Leg Injury

In the latest Yamaha Rhino lawsuit to be filed, Scott Smith, a 42-year-old California man, alleges that the side by side ATV’s design defects caused him to suffer a crushing injury to his right leg, which was trapped under the Rhino’s rollbar in a tip over accident.

The Rhino lawsuit was filed against Yamaha Motor Corporation in the California Superior Court of Orange County. The complaint indicates that Smith was a passenger in a 2006 Yamaha Rhino on August 20, 2006, when it rolled over causing his debilitating leg injury. As a result of his injuries, Smith was bedridden for over a year and had to undergo seven surgeries, which have left him permanently disabled.

The case will join many other Yamaha Rhino lawsuits which have been filed throughout the country against the ATV maker as a result of instability problems, which can make the Rhino prone to tip and roll over, even when it is operated at safe speeds on flat surfaces. The top-heavy design of the vehicle lends it a high center of gravity which, coupled with a narrow track width and small tires, makes it much more unstable than other ATV.

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The Yamaha Rhino lawsuit alleges that the vehicle has multiple design flaws which make the vehicle unstable. Yamaha is also accused of failing to make any modifications to the design, despite the availability of inexpensive and safer alternative designs which could have reduced the risk of injury.

Last summer, nearly a year after Smith’s Rhino accident, Yamaha announced the availability of free after-market doors and additional passenger side hand holds, which make the ATV safer. However, Yamaha Rhino accidents continue to result in severe injuries, because Yamaha never issued a recall to ensure that the safety modifications were made to all vehicles, and they have not made any substantial design changes in newer models to address the Yamaha Rhino rollover problems.

According to Yamaha Rhino lawyers who are investigating potential lawsuits, the side by side ATV has been found to roll over when turning at speeds as low as 13 miles per hour on flat paved roadways.


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