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Equipment Defense Verdict

Mississippi – Butler Snow attorneys Frank M. Holbrook and William P. (Will) Thomas obtained a defense verdict for Deere & Company in a case filed in the First Judicial District of the Circuit Court of Panola County, Mississippi.

The 17-year-old plaintiff was injured while operating a John Deere tractor and rotary cutter to mow a pasture. The unbelted operator/plaintiff suffered severe injuries that ultimately required amputation of both legs and extensive rehabilitation.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the tractor and rotary cutter were each defective due to failure to include alternative designs that would have prevented the plaintiff’s injuries. During the six-day trial, in addition to numerous fact witnesses, the plaintiff called three liability experts and two damage experts. Deere called two in-house experts and two experts who testified on vehicle dynamics and occupant kinematics. The plaintiff asked for $60 million in actual damages in closing argument. After 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned an 11-1 verdict in favor of Deere & Company.

Holbrook is a member of the [team id=”4105″] and has successfully represented companies such as AT&T Mississippi, Fedex and Baxter Healthcare Corporation. Thomas is a member of the Product Liability Group; he represents companies in cases involving agricultural/chemical products as well as all-terrain vehicles.