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Jury Assesses Damage Award of $11.1 Million Against Kubota Tractor Corporation in Favor of Former Reno County Resident

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By Monica Warren, Business & Marketing Director of Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys

 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – On November 14th, 2023, a Reno County jury awarded a former Reno County resident $11,138,422.40 in damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages resulting from a skid steer accident, finding that Kubota’s SVL-90 skid steer failed to adequately warn of a crush hazard that paralyzed the resident.

The jury trial arose from an accident that happened on farm ground in rural Reno County on November 10, 2013. The plaintiff, Kolton Kincaid, was caught between the skid steer’s cab roof overhang and the grapple bucket while it was being raised, resulting in damage to his spinal cord.

Kubota wholly denied any wrongdoing and fought the case for nearly 8 years, claiming that the general safety instructions the cab of the skid steer and in the operator’s manual were sufficient notice of the hazard. There were no specific warnings about the crush point, and the jury found that the general safety instructions were vague and inadequate given that Kubota either knew or should have known about the hazard in their safety testing and development of the SVL-90. Kubota did not produce and present any safety testing information in its defense.

Before trial, Kubota offered $30,000.00 to settle the case.

Kincaid declined the offer and opted for a jury trial. His attorneys Michael Wyatt and Jesse Tanksley, law partners with Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys, successfully argued during the five-day trial that the defendant was significantly at fault for the accident, and that because of Kubota’s negligence, Kincaid sustained severe and permanent injuries that significantly affected his life and will require life-long medical treatment. The jury agreed and awarded Kincaid a total verdict of $11,138,422.40 for his past and future medical expenses, future medical expenses, and his pain, suffering, and mental anguish. The verdict was more than 370 times the amount that Kubota had offered before trial.

Wyatt said, “I’m thankful the jury saw through the defense team’s arguments. They tried to avoid responsibility for the accident and directed the blame at everybody else, but the jury didn’t let them get away with it. We are so grateful for our client’s courage and perseverance in allowing us to litigate and try his case to a jury. We were blessed with an incredibly smart and compassionate jury that understood the value of what was taken from Kolton, despite his monumental efforts to rehabilitate and serve as an inspiration to every person he touches.”

Tanksley, a fellow Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley partner, said the ultimate goal of taking Kolton’s case to trial was to publicly hold Kubota responsible for its negligence and ensure that Kolton recovered the money that he would need to pay for his medical treatment and interest in paraplegia advocacy and adaptive sports. Wyatt and Tanksley said they were proud of the fact that Kubota will be forced to look at its safety practices and the process of developing warnings to prevent deaths and catastrophic injuries like this.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to represent an exemplary and inspiring young man and ensure that he received justice, full compensation, and most importantly that his voice was heard,” Wyatt said.

For more information, please contact Monica Warren at 620-200-6480.

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