A federal jury will resume deliberations Monday morning in a $7.5 million product liability trial involving a Honda all-terrain vehicle accident that left a Price man permanently paralyzed.
U.S. District Judge David Winder warned the seven-man, five-woman jury to be scrupulously careful this weekend not to talk about the case or read news accounts of it. The jury had begun deliberating Friday morning.According to the complaint, Jamie Edward Hartzell was riding a Honda ATC Model 4 Trax 250 on March 22, 1985, when the vehicle failed to negotiate a turn and plunged into a ravine.
He has sued Honda Motor Co. Ltd., American Honda Motor Co. Inc., Honda Research and Development Ltd., Honda Research of America and American Honda Motor Co. Inc., on the legal theories of strict liability, negligence and false advertising.
The Honda companies have said the four-wheel all-terrain vehicle is not unreasonably dangerous and defective, its advertising was not misleading and the accident resulted from the plaintiff's negligence, road conditions or a combination of those factors.
A consent decree last April in a U.S. Justice Department suit against four ATV manufacturers, including Honda, halted sales of three-wheel ATVs in the United States. But the four-wheel vehicles are still sold.
One of Hartzell's attorneys, Lewis R. Hansen, said he knows of 22 ATV lawsuits that have gone to trial nationwide, and of those, plaintiffs have won five, including one involving a four-wheel model in Wyoming.