Jury Awards $2 Million in Lawnmower Accident Case

Jury Awards $2 Million in Lawnmower Accident Case

The family of a 4-year-old boy killed in a lawnmower accident was awarded $2 million earlier this week by a Roanoke jury in a product liability case.

Justin Simmons died in April 2004 after a riding lawn mower operated by Orvil Reedy at his daycare center rolled over him. Reedy was trying to mow up a slope and wasn’t aware that he had run over the boy when the mower rolled backward.

Reedy’s wife, Roberta, operated the daycare and didn’t realize that Justin had been run over until she heard her husband scream.

Ron and Kristie Simmons, Justin’s parents, filed the lawsuit against the manufacturer of the lawnmower, MTD Products Corp., and the Reedys.

The jury found MTD liable for the accident, citing their failure to design a mower that automatically stops when it rolls backward.

“We’re just hoping that we make a difference. We just want the industry to see that there’s a problem that needs to be fixed,” said Theresa Reed, one of the jurors.

The Simmonses dropped their case against the Reedys and are seeking an out-of-court settlement.

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