January 26, 2015 — A jury in Virginia has awarded $2.5 million to the family of a man who died when his Ryobi ride-on lawn mower caught on fire and exploded.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Frank Wright, an 88 year-old man who was using the mower to clean up his yard before Christmas in December 2010.
According to the lawsuit, a faulty fuel line spilled gas, which caught on fire. When the plastic fuel tank exploded, Wright was engulfed in flames.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, Wright was able to crawl 20 feet from the mower, but his wife was unable to extinguish the flames and paramedics were unable to save his life.
The lawsuit was filed against Ryobi Technologies Inc. and Home Depot, where Wright purchased the mower in 2005. The companies were accused of negligence for failing to properly design or test the lawn mower, failing to provide proper warnings, and more.
The following year, Ryobi started selling a “new-and-improved” model with a better fuel line and gas tank. However, they did not warn 18,000 consumers who purchased the mowers about the danger.
Five months before Wright’s death, an incident occurred in Indiana involving a similar mower. Although no one was injured, the lawn mower burned a house to the ground when it was put away in a garage.
Ryobi did not recall the mowers or notify the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). However, they quietly began offering a replacement fuel tank for mowers purchased at Home Depot in 2006 and 2007.
The federal jury in Virginia found Ryobi liable for Wright’s death, but not Home Depot.
Do I have a Ryobi Lawn Mower Injury Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Ryobi lawn mower induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a fire, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.