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Families Of 4 Individuals Killed In Fiery ATV Accident Sue Manufacturer For “Known Defects”


The families of four individuals who were killed in an ATV accident have sued the manufacturer, Polaris, for knowingly manufacturing a deadly product and placing it into the stream of commerce. According to the lawsuit, four friends in their 20s died last July after the Polaris Razor side-by-side ATV they were in rolled over and burst into flames. Their horrified loved ones witnessed the accident. The decedents are aged 23 to 26.

The lawsuit alleges that Polaris knew that their ATVs had a propensity to catch fire. They accuse the company of “negligent, reckless, and deliberate decisions” to make and market its Razor ATVs despite a documented history of fire risks. According to the lawsuit, had Polaris fixed the “known defects” with its ATVs, the ATV would not have caught fire and killed the four young individuals. Further, Polaris is accused of failing to warn customers about the fire risk. Had Polaris warned customers, several deaths may have been avoided.

Polaris is a leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles. They did not respond to a request for comment concerning the lawsuit. The company that sold the 2022 Polaris RZR 1000 driven by the decedent was also named in the lawsuit. The company is accused of “intentionally misleading” the decedents that the ATV was reasonably safe.

How did the ATV fail? 

According to the lawsuit, the fatal rollover occurred after the ATV’s front-side shock absorber failed, causing one corner of its suspension to collapse and nosedive into the ground. The force of the impact flipped the rear end of the vehicle into the air. It immediately caught fire. The vehicle then proceeded to flip upside down as the fire spread rapidly. The parents of the victims rushed in to try to help, but the four young people were trapped inside the burning vehicle.

Two of the passengers were unable to escape their restraints and burned to death. Two others were able to escape the burning vehicle and were airlifted to a nearby hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

The lawsuit contends that the ATV fire was caused by a “known defect” with the engine and exhaust system which generates “excessive” heat just behind the passenger seats. The lawsuit makes reference to a decades long history of safety problems with Polaris ATVs that include multiple recalls, inadequate fixes, lawsuits, and scrutiny by industry regulators.

In 2018, Polaris agreed to pay a $27 million civil penalty in a settlement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The fine settled charges that the company failed to immediately report defects in its ATVs that posed a risk of fire that could cause injury or death. By that time, Polaris had reports of 150 fires, including one that caused the death of a 15-year-old passenger. Customers also reported 11 burn injuries.

Talk to a Florida Product Liability Attorney Today 

Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of those who have been injured by dangerous consumer products such as ATVs. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin investigating your claims right away.



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