In a monthly podcast called Civilly Speaking, presented for the Ohio Association
for Justice, Attorney Mike Rourke shares the facts about zero turn mower
cases. Often used on golf courses, farms, and other large landscaping
areas, these heavy riding mowers can be quite dangerous in an accident.
Attorney Rourke explains that he has seen a number of cases involving
zero turn mower incidents where the machine rolled, pinning the rider
underneath. However, most of these detrimental, often deadly, incidents
could be prevented if all mowers were designed with rollover protection.
Zero turn mowers have been used for decades for commercial and residential
purposes. Attorney Rourke himself had a mower for his farm when his children
were younger. In fact, he recalls a day when his daughter rolled in the
mower while driving on their property, but thanks to the rollover protection
she sustained no injuries. Owing to his personal history with these machines,
Attorney Rourke takes a special interest in these cases and is passionate
about fighting for the rights of the injured and their families.
After researching the injuries and deaths caused by these mowers, Attorney
Rourke discovered how startlingly common they are. Zero turn mowers are
known for the ability to make hairpin turns, making them ideal for trimming
and maintaining hard-to-reach places. Most of the incidents involving
these mowers occurred near some source of water, where the ground sloped
and the grass was likely slippery.
Significant slopes can cause these heavy mowers, which typically range
between 550 – 1,250 lbs., to tip or roll over. When that happens
near a body of water, even a shallow pond, it can pin the driver underneath
the water and cause them to drown. Tragically, many of the fatalities
caused by these mowers were the result of drownings.
Perhaps the most disturbing concept, which Attorney Rourke explains, is
that these accidents are indeed preventable. Many so-called commercial
zero turn mowers come with rollover protection as standard equipment,
which is essentially a metal beam installed over the top of the mower.
Simple in design, and rather inexpensive to make, these rollover protection
bars can prevent the rider from being pinned beneath the machine, allowing
them a way to get out if they should ever be thrown into a pond or other
body of water and also preventing them from being crushed underneath the
mower when it rolls down an incline. In all of the cases he has seen,
Attorney Rourke says he has yet to face a personal injury or wrongful
death case involving a zero turn mower with rollover protection. Sadly,
virtually all so-called residential mowers (weights under 850 pounds)
do not come with rollover protection as standard or even optional equipment
making them extremely dangerous to unsuspecting consumers.
In light of the preventability of these tragedies, Attorney Rourke has
filed multiple design defect claims against the manufacturer of these
mowers. Thus far, all of these cases have resulted in the victims of these
design defects to receive compensation for their losses. Unfortunately,
the residential zero turn mower market is fiercely competitive, which
has made the manufacturers hesitant to equip all of their mowers with
rollover protection. Sadly, this profit- over safety approach has come
at the cost of countless lives.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as the result of
a zero turn mower, you may have a case. Our firm, Rourke & Blumenthal,
can help you file a claim in Ohio or anywhere in the Untied States and
guide you through the legal process as you seek justice and fair compensation
for your damages.
To listen to the entire Ohio Association for Justice Podcast, click here.
To schedule a free case evaluation,