Family of Man Killed by Exploding Lawnmower Wins $6M

Family of Man Killed by Exploding Lawnmower Wins $6M

The family of a North Carolina man who suffered extensive burn injuries, and eventually died when his riding lawnmower exploded, was awarded $6 million by a jury in a wrongful death lawsuit.

On Oct. 25, the jury found that Charles “Dale” Smith Jr.’s death was caused by a defective lawnmower manufactured by the Jacobsen Division of Textron Inc.

The jury awarded Smith’s family money damages for pain and suffering to the tune of $2 million to the family, and $2 million to each of Smith’s parents, for a total of $6 million.

Smith was mowing the lawn at his father’s business in April 2003 when it exploded. Smith suffered serious burns to 46 percent of his body. He was taken to Laurinburg’s Scotland Memorial Hospital initially but was later airlifted to University of North Carolina Burn Center, where hospital staff thought he could get better treatment. He died in four days.

The suit, filed in April last year by the Smiths’ lawyer, Eddie Musselwhite, claimed the lawnmower model was defective and dangerous. The mower was a Bobcat Zero Turn Radius model.

The mower manufacturer claimed that the explosion was caused by an error on Smith’s part, but Musselwhite provided examples of previous similar occurrences with the company’s products.

“I think this was really a tragedy, it’s just had such a horrible impact on the parents and their lives,” Musselwhite said. “There’s no amount of money that can compensate them for what happened.”

Smith, 36, lived with both of his parents.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed by a defective product, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, and more. Please contact us today for a free consultation with a caring and experienced personal injury attorney who can answer your questions and help you plan the best course of action.

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