On October 2, 2004, Plaintiff, a 16-year-old high school student, was helping her stepfather install a new fence in their backyard when her jacket became entangled in the rotating shaft of a borrowed post hole digger, which was attached to the back of a tractor. She was pulled into the rotating shaft of the power take off unit. In addition to sustaining an above-the-elbow amputation of her right arm, she also sustained fractures of her left scapula and her left collarbone. The jury found that the post hole digger was defectively designed and that the defect was a substantial factor in causing injury to Plaintiff. The jury found that Plaintiff was not negligent. The jury verdict assigned varying percentages of liability to Defendants as well as 3% to the estate of the stepfather, named as a Third-Party Defendant. The award of damages was as follows: Past Medical Expenses: $138,653.29; Future Medical Expenses, including prosthetic devices: $2,677,934; Past Lost Wages: $45,000; Future Lost Wages: $950,000; Past Pain and Suffering: $1,000,000; Future Pain and Suffering: $4,000,000. Post-trial motions by the Defendants to set aside the jury verdict were denied.
Hoover/Bowers v. New Holland North America, Inc., et al.