Farm Injury and Accidents
Although safety standards are required for farms and their machinery and equipment, many factors contribute to accidents that take place every day on farms. Some of the most common types of injuries include the following:
- Agricultural equipment injuries such as tractor overturns and machinery entanglements
- Farm structure emergencies, involving grain bins, electrocution or silos
- Farm chemical exposures, spills and fires, toxic gas exposures
- Farm animal incidents
If you or a family member has been injured in a farming accident, you will need attorneys who can fight against big machinery manufacturers and pesticide and chemical companies. Lawton & Cates is experienced and will fight for your financial future and well-being.
DEFECTIVE FARM WAGON
Lawton & Cates obtained a $4.5 million dollar verdict (the first multi-million dollar verdict in Dodge County) for an injured farmer and his wife. Our client was injured when the farm wagon he was repairing fell off the jacks and crushed his pelvis. He was rendered a paraplegic. We alleged that the farm wagon was defective and unreasonably dangerous because the tandem rear axle support structure was inadequately designed. In addition, we alleged that our client should have been warned when manufacturer redesigned the support structure in 1984. The support system failed in 1996 in a farm field. Since the farm wagon could not be moved, it had to be repaired in the field, increasing the difficulty of the repair.
The manufacturer alleged that the injury was caused by the negligence of our client in the method he used in jacking up the wagon. In addition, the manufacturer claimed that it had no duty to warn our client; since no one had been injured by a farm wagon in the twenty-five years it had been manufactured. In addition, the manufacturer claimed that the wagon’s design was adequate since the wagon had been used for fifteen years without any problems.
The jury found that the wagon was defective and that the manufacturer was causally negligent and assigned 80% fault on the manufacturer and 20% contributory negligence on our client. The jury awarded our client $5.5 million in damages including $3 million in pain, suffering and disability, and $1.25 million in loss of society and companionship to his spouse.
Other farm case examples include the following:
Represented farmer against electric company in claim stray voltage had affected cows and their production. Tried for several weeks in LaFayette County with jury award in favor of farmer in excess of $700,000.
Settlement for claim of damage to a dairy herd caused by stray voltage in the amount of $225,000.
Lengthy trial concerning presence and extent of damage to dairy heard caused by stray voltage from power lines. Jury awarded plaintiff $455,000.
Rural auction of farm items and personal property from liquidated business enjoined by Richland County as violation of zoning ordinance on grounds it was commercial and not agricultural sale. Injunction upheld after trial by Circuit court and reversal by Court of Appeals, with county responsible for damages and attorneys' fees.
Dairy cows were damaged by chemical disinfectants used in dairy operation; won verdict against manufacturer of defective product.
DEFECTIVE DESIGN OF CORN PICKER
Products liability action from defect in design of corn picker; won verdict.