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Family of Teen Who Suffered Brain Injury in Cart Ejection Settles Case After Openings in Product Liability Trial

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Nov 2, 2017 1:18:40 PM

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Atlanta—Hours after openings last week at trial claiming a defect in a powered cart’s design led to a teenager’s brain damage, the teen’s family agreed to a settlement with the cart’s manufacturer. Gardner v. Textron Inc., 14EV001346.

The settlement’s terms were not made available.

Bradley Gardner fractured his skull and suffered long-term brain damage when he was thrown from an E-Z-Go ST Express Shuttle 6 as it made a U-Turn on Buckswamp Road in Brunswick, Georgia on July 4, 2012. Gardner, 13 at the time, was a passenger in the golf cart-like vehicle, driven by Jason Rotz, then 15.

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The settlement followed openings in which opposing counsel debated whether defective design or reckless conduct led to Gardner’s injuries.

Attorneys for Gardner’s family claimed the hip restraint system used on the Shuttle 6 failed to properly protect Gardner as the vehicle as it made its turn. “It doesn’t matter who’s driving [the cart],” Terrell Hogan’s Bruce Maxwell told jurors. “This part is defective. It doesn’t restrain. It isn’t what it’s called.”

However, the defense contended that Rotz had a history of reckless driving, that Gardner had been standing up in the cart before the accident, and that he wouldn’t have been thrown from the vehicle if he had been sitting properly when it made its turn. “All of the many tests that have been performed show that a properly seated person would not be ejected from this golf cart at the speed the evidence clearly shows it was operating,” Nelson Mullins’ Richard North told jurors.

CVN recorded openings in the trial, and will offer them on demand as soon as possible.

Email Arlin Crisco at [email protected].

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CVN recorded openings in the trial, and will publish them as soon as possible.

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Topics: Products Liability, Georgia, Gardner v. Textron Inc.