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Trial Set This Week Over Whether Alleged Defect in Powered Cart's Design Caused Teen's Brain Injury

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Oct 23, 2017 2:43:00 PM

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Atlanta, GA—Trial is scheduled to begin this week against a powered-cart manufacturer accused of responsibility for the lifelong brain damage a Georgia teenager suffered when he was thrown from one of its vehicles during an Independence Day celebration. Gardner v. Textron Inc., 14EV001346.

According to court records in the case, Bradley Gardner was thrown from an E-Z-Go ST Express Shuttle 6 golf cart-like vehicle as it made a U-turn on Buckswamp Road in Brunswick, Georgia. Gardner, 13 at the time, struck his head on the concrete, was hospitalized for months, and now suffers permanent brain damage from the accident. 

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Attorneys for Gardner’s family contend a defect in the cart’s design led Gardner to be thrown from the vehicle in the July 4, 2012 accident. They claim Gardner has incurred more than $500,000 in past medical expenses alone, and they're seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and potential punitives.

E-Z-Go, however, contends reckless driving, and not any alleged design defect, caused the crash. According to court records, E-Z-Go's attorneys claim the vehicle’s driver, Jason Rotz, who was 15 at the time, had a history of driving the cart recklessly, and had been prohibited by the cart’s owner, Rodney Edwards, from using the vehicle. The company contends an overly sharp U-turn, for which Rotz was cited by police, threw Gardner from the vehicle.

The trial, in Fulton County State Court, is expected to last into next week. The case features attorneys from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, representing E-Z-Go, and lawyers from Terrell Hogan and Gomez & Golomb, representing the Gardner family. 

CVN is covering the trial and will provide updates via the news page, as well as gavel-to-gavel video of the trial as soon as possible after the verdict.

Email Arlin Crisco at [email protected]

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CVN is covering the trial and will provide updates via the news page, as well as gavel-to-gavel video of the trial as soon as possible after the verdict.

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Topics: Georgia, Transportation, product liability, Gardner v. Textron Inc.