We have been discussing the documentary “Hot Coffee” lately, and the way it shows that tort reform applies to so many people. A story last week about the dangers of ATV use and the surprising number of traumatic brain injuries suffered by riders raises questions about the safety of the vehicles. As the title story of the documentary demonstrates, unsafe products are hard to change when tort reform is in effect.
Two people from Florida died last week in separate ATV accidents, one 12-year-old girl and a 23-year-old man.
Cheyenne Ellis, a sixth-grader at Chiefland Middle School, was killed when she lost control of her ATV and it flipped on top of her at Gulf Hammock Hunt Club. Lucas Corbitt, of Bronson, was found dead near his ATV, and authorities are still trying to determine what happened in his accident.
According to Latha Stead, a doctor and professor of emergency medicine at Shands at the University of Florida, 14 percent of the traumatic brain injuries she sees are caused by recreational vehicles, with 21 percent the result of ATV accidents. Legislators in Florida are discussing how to reduce the unsettling number of injuries sustained on these vehicles, and we hope they find an effective option.
If a rider filed a lawsuit against an ATV manufacturer and the company was found to be manufacturing dangerous products, court-determined punitive damages could force it to change its ways. With the caps proposed by tort reform, though, there would be no way to force a change.
The Metier Law Firm, LLC – Denver accident lawyers