BUFFALO, N.Y. (CN) – A man who accidentally backed over his 2-year-old daughter with a riding mower blames the Deere Co., for making machines whose blades keep spinning in Reverse gear, despite “many occurrences over several decades wherein small children have been backed over and accidentally maimed, crippled, disfigured, dismembered, and killed.”
John Henderson claims in Erie County Court that Deere designed and made its riding mowers using inexpensive technology, “solely for its own economic advantage.”
He claims the injuries to his daughter, Lilianna, were “reasonably foreseeable by Deere.” He also sued is Bar-Chel Lawn and Recreational Equipment of Boston, N.Y.
Henderson says he was “mowing grass in a filed adjacent to his residence using a riding tractor/lawnmower manufactured by defendant Deere and sold by defendant Bar-Chel.”
“The plaintiff, while mistakenly believing that the infant plaintiff, who was then 2 years of age, was safely elsewhere, accidentally backed Deere’s riding tractor/lawnmower over the infant plaintiff, causing her to sustain extremely serious, painful, permanent, crippling and disfiguring bodily injuries.”
Henderson adds: “Deere’s riding tractor/lawnmower was designed and manufactured by Deere, solely for its own economic advantage and to maximize its share of the market for riding tractor/lawnmowers, and without due regard for the safety and welfare of small children, in such manner that it could be operated in reverse while its cutting blades were still spinning.”
Henderson says Deere was negligent for not “incorporating in its design any means whatsoever for alerting operators to the presence of a child behind the machine, despite Deere’s knowledge and awareness for many years of accidents wherein operators of such machines backed over and seriously injured or killed small children due to the operators’ unawareness of a child’s presence.”
He accuses Deere of failing to incorporate numerous safety designs in its riding mowers, such as side mirrors, or “laser, infrared, sonic and possibly other types of warning systems.”
He says his daughter “has had to undergo numerous surgical procedures and therapies to save her life and to repair, restore and/or reconstruct, as much as possible, those portions of her anatomy which were broken, lacerated, mutilated, removed, and permanently disfigured and scarred.”
He also seeks damages for his daughter’s psychological counseling, “aimed toward enabling her to cope with the disfigurement and crippling of her body and limbs.”
Henderson is represented by Laurence Behr with Barth Sullivan Behr.