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That’s a combination of 3 safety rules being ignored.
Apparently that is not a viable defense if you happen to be the manufacturer.

Without operator responsibility being a factor in the equation - there is no way anyone could produce a "safe" tractor.

Given all the variables a tractor can be configured for and the even wider range of variables for the operating environment there is no way to make something completely safe.

To hold a manufacturer liable for the operators wanton disregard of the basic safety rules is ridiculous.

I am hoping that for the sake of all manufacturers as well as consumers, this verdict gets reversed.
 

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I wonder how many jurors understood the ballast breakdown when it was explained to them. It’s not rocket science but I could see where more folks would have a hard time with it. Heck, I have a hard time explaining to my guys how to set up a self leveling laser and how to calculate elevations. To a lot of people all that math is mumbo jumbo. That said, it doesn’t discount the fact he wasn’t wearing his seat belt.
 

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Apparently that is not a viable defense if you happen to be the manufacturer.

Without operator responsibility being a factor in the equation - there is no way anyone could produce a "safe" tractor.

Given all the variables a tractor can be configured for and the even wider range of variables for the operating environment there is no way to make something completely safe.

To hold a manufacturer liable for the operators wanton disregard of the basic safety rules is ridiculous.

I am hoping that for the sake of all manufacturers as well as consumers, this verdict gets reversed.
Bet it will get reversed on appeal. They went after Deere! Because Deere has deep pockets! Bet the dealer ends up being the only one finally found liable after all is said & done (Plaintiff saying dealer didn't show end User How to Ballast tractor Properly). Good thing on appeal unless new trial given, no jury involved. If He wasn't wearing a seat belt I would say It was utter stupidity that was partly the cause of death.(Lawsuit for Car Manufactures usually get dismissed if someone isn't wearing a seat belt or not using a safety device properly, unless of coarse the seat belt of safety device failed because of Manufacturer defect) Only time I didn't ware a seat belt was when the ROPS was down Now I have a ROPS Cab I ware it every time I am in the 2025R. Because if it tipped with the Cab. I would probably have a head splitting end of life headache. Probably hitting the Cab roof.
 

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Huh.

So many comments to like, and so many comments to roll my eyes at.

Still, here I sit having not yet purchased a tractor feeling as if many of the forum members I’ve turned to for insight prior to my purchase might turn on me in an instant for being stupid if I were to ever make a mistake as a novice. It seems some may even believe I have no business purchasing a tractor because I have no prior experience and no one has been teaching me to operate a tractor since I was four.
This is illogical and nowhere near as “community” as I would expect from the GTT community. I’m sure there are mentor minded individuals among us. I’ve read some of your work. 🤷‍♂️

I can’t speak for this unfortunate soul, but I can speak for myself and maybe others find themselves in this boat:

I am not stupid. In fact, I am highly educated but inexperienced with tractors. Through no fault of my own, I was not raised in a tractor family, instead, I’ve turned to this forum as a surrogate.

I am here to learn, and without the internet and this forum, I would be unaware of “ballast” in its many forms in spite of being fully aware of levers and fulcrums, weight and counterweight. My conversations with JD sales (AgPro) have never been guided to a safety discussion, only “what implements do you want to add?” Perhaps this guy had a similar experience. I dunno, and dead men tell no tales.

I read the manuals. I would be curious to know how many of us ACTUALLY read the manual for our new trucks/cars cover to cover? I’d be willing to bet a lot of “experienced operators“ don’t bother. Are tractor operators the same way?

Folks, for the sake of conversation, just because I’ve read my Stihl manual doesn’t mean I can comfortably, consistently and effective dial in my MS 271 Farm Boss. This could be unsafe, but nothing teaches like experience... repetition and doing, I just have to remain alert. My reading of this or any other manual is only going to get me so far and my well being depends on it.

I don’t raise these points because I’m offended, I’m not. I’m way too new here for any of this to be personally directed at me. I raise these points because I’m looking to you as community members and in some case community leaders (from my newby perspective) to be educators and avoid the pitfalls of stooping to name-calling or bashing the deceased for being an idiot because he died while operating a tractor. I’m looking to you to constructively continue to educate we inexperienced so that we may avoid a similar fate. There has been much of this. Please keep that up. Discuss what could have went wrong, and discuss how to avoid it. Some of us are sponges in the audience, soaking this all in.

Cheers 🍻
 

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I think you’re reading too much into this.

We ABSOLUTELY try to support new owners and educate them. We also encourage you to educate yourself. Will you (or anyone else) make a mistake, you bet. But you are a whole lot less likely to if you are informed.

To use your example, you buy a new chainsaw, read the manual, but never operated one. You should know the safety precautions and how to properly operate the saw, but it doesn’t make you an expert. But you’ll be wearing the proper safety gear and using the saw in the correct manner. You may be slow and inexperienced, but you should walk away with all of your limbs intact. Now if a branch falls on you because you limbed the tree wrong, is that the saw manufacturers fault? That’s on the operator to learn techniques on how to drop a tree and cut it up correctly.

This is really the same thing. I think it’s foolish to think I could go buy a car, read the manual, and drive away with no experience or license. That’s kinda what tractors do though. You learn as you operate. You have to start somewhere, we all do. Your instincts and life experiences will help you greatly on this learning curve. Even more so if you are reading and learning from others.

A smart man learns from his mistakes and experiences. A wise man learns from others.
 

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A smart man learns from his mistakes and experiences. A wise man learns from others.
Great post, Jason!!

DIYer - no one here is going "to turn on you in an instant". I've never seen that in my time on this board. But as Jason said, you learn as you go. And you ask questions. And then continue to learn even more as you go. I've had my tractor since October 2014 and I don't consider myself an expert in any sort of operation with it!!

I bought my tractor used from one of the locations of my local dealer. I started my tractor shopping journey looking at 1-Series tractors and kept moving up in size and capability. When I found the 3520 on their lot the salesman gave me about a 30 second "push this pedal to go forward, pull the lever back to make the bucket go up..." type of lesson. He pointed to a big dirt pile in their field and said "go move some dirt!". I hadn't been on a tractor with a FEL since about 1980. I don't remember if the back end came up or not as I was playing in the pile, but there was never any mention of a ballast box. I had the tractor transferred to their location about 2 miles from my house where they prepped it and delivered it. That salesman never mentioned ballast either. It wasn't until I was getting really to move some downed trees about a year later that I finally bought a ballast box (with extension) and filled it with pea gravel. By then I'd been active here and knew a little more.

Just for kicks, I'm going to stop by my dealer this week and talk to the salesman there about this. He's not the salesman that I dealt with when I bought the tractor. I'll be curious to get his take on this. I'll report back.
 

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Regarding the earlier post that showed the lawsuit paper work. (post #91 for those who missed it) It said he had a box blade on the back. So I assume he could have been working on his driveway. If he was also doing loader work, such as moving gravel, wouldn't that mean he had the tractor improperly configured at the time? He had some ballast, just not the proper amount according to the manual. Since proper ballast was the main contention of the lawsuit's argument, how in the heck could that be Deere's fault? Just shows you can never trust a jury.
 

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This is why they make discussions so people can write their opinions down. There are always going to be the people dressed in green who will defend the mothership to the death, and there’s going to be the ones who question inadequacy. There’s always going to be the “can’t fix stupid” remarks and that’s just the internet. I’ve read a lot worse. There’s also going to be people genuinely concerned about a products livelihood. A lot of people here have a considerable amount of time and money invested in their tractors and see possible rising costs down the road as a result of a juries decision. The majority of people here on GTT like to do things properly and do their homework on tractor operation and maintenance so your going to expect the beehive to get excited.
 

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Regarding the earlier post that showed the lawsuit paper work. (post #91 for those who missed it) It said he had a box blade on the back. So I assume he could have been working on his driveway. If he was also doing loader work, such as moving gravel, wouldn't that mean he had the tractor improperly configured at the time? He had some ballast, just not the proper amount according to the manual. Since proper ballast was the main contention of the lawsuit's argument, how in the heck could that be Deere's fault? Just shows you can never trust a jury.
That's the Problem with this type of lawsuits the richest party usually gets blamed as you know they have the money to pay out the lawsuit This type of lawsuit was about looking to blame What we don't know was how the terrain was the person was operating on and what caused it to tip. But it all boils down to user error of some type. If the safety devices were defective I could see blaming Deere. But not wearing a seat belt and tipping and getting pinned Well how is that Deere's fault?
 

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Will see how the appeal goes! Winning & collecting are always two different things In a Lawsuit. But I bet will see a Update to the manual " That you must properly ballast your tractor before using the Loader and they will probably give a weight breakdown to achieve the proper Ballast "
I doubt there will be an appeal. No grounds for the appeal, and they will collect. JD, and/or their insurance company will pay. This is a court judgment. Pay or go to jail.
 

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I'm with Dr. Maphesto.

Dead Horse2.gif
 

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I doubt there will be an appeal. No grounds for the appeal, and they will collect. JD, and/or their insurance company will pay. This is a court judgment. Pay or go to jail.
In civil cases incorrect application of the law is appealable, including jury findings. The appeals court can vacate the judgement or sent it back for retrial.
 

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WHAT??? We're only at 113 posts in this thread! I still see some life left in that horse!

<<hiding under chair>>
How about this horse then?
Dead Horse1.gif
 

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I doubt there will be an appeal. No grounds for the appeal, and they will collect. JD, and/or their insurance company will pay. This is a court judgment. Pay or go to jail.
I'll ask my neighbors wife next time I'm at my place near Moline, IL As she is a council for Deere bet she'll know what happens weather Deere pay's or appeal's My guess is appeal
 

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I predict that if JD felt strong enough that they went all the way to trial, they will appeal. They can't afford the precedent this is setting.

Dave
 

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In civil cases incorrect application of the law is appealable, including jury findings. The appeals court can vacate the judgement or sent it back for retrial.
I would respectfully disagree!! Incorrect application of the law has little or nothing to do with a civil case. Civil cases aren't about law necessarily, they are about assigning liability due to a problem with a product, at least that is what is being purported in this case.

Only about 15% of civil cases are considered for appeal. Of these 15%, half of them were appealed by the plaintiff and the other half by the defendant. Of these, even the the cases that are reconsidered, they are most of the time settled rather than re-litigated.

A case cannot be appealed just because you do not like the outcome. There would have to be evidence allowed in the case that was not admissible or a procedural issue by the judge. Absent of these, a case will not be considered for appeal.

These things do not normally happen in these types of civil cases because the evidence is what it is. There really isn't any evidence other than the documents and the fact that the tractor was sold without ballast, and the judgement was given by a jury, not the judge.

The only thing that could possibly be considered is the amount of the judgement, but I doubt that is even an issue, as I have personally have seen judgement's higher than this in these types of cases, so 5 mil is not out of the ordinary in a civil case where a younger man, and possible father, was killed in a product liability case.

I'm not saying I agree, just stating what I know and have seen. Heck, I have seen settlements higher than 5 mil.

JD, and their insurance company, may consider an appeal if they believe they have standing for an appeal, but most likely, only if they believe they can prove the judge made misleading direction to the jury. Other than that, it will stand.
 

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[QUOTE="

DIYer - no one here is going "to turn on you in an instant". I've never seen that in my time on this board. But as Jason said, you learn as you go. And you ask questions. And then continue to learn even more as you go. I've had my tractor since October 2014 and I don't consider myself an expert in any sort of operation with it!!
[/QUOTE]

I tried to do the quote thing here. First time, so apologies if this works out funky... :) *

I get what you're saying, of course. Like I said, I know it's not about me, or other newbs and I don’t believe anyone is going to hammer me personally if I do something stupid.

Ok, if I deserve it, and I share it on here with you guys knowing I may take some licks, then I deserve it. 😆
 
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