(Products Liability) On November 12, 2005, at around 7:42 p.m., M-75 added air to the pneumatic tire with his Coleman compressor in order to check the site of location of an air leak on the tire of his 5 HP 22-inch Two Stage Craftsman snow thrower (Model No. 247.887000) i.e., tire, valve stem, rim/tire seating, etc. MTD Products, Inc. manufactured the Craftsman snow thrower. While he lifted the rim/tire assembly to his ear, the plastic rim of the wheel exploded and struck Plaintiff. The explosion left Plaintiff unconscious and injured. Plaintiff did not monitor the pounds per square inch (“psi”) or internal pressure of the tire he was inflating.
The wheel/rim that exploded was a new design for MTD and its snow thrower. Previous models used metal rims and it developed a new plastic-based rim. Plaintiff contended that the wheel/rim assembly was defective.
Defendant MTD Products, Inc. contended that the tire/rim assembly was not defective. Defendant contended that Plaintiff simply overinflated the pneumatic tire beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation of 10-15 psi. Defendant contended that post-incident “burst testing” demonstrated the rim would not fracture until after inflation beyond 100 psi. MTD contended that Hoosier Stamping and Manufacturing Co. (the alleged manufacturer) was contributorily negligent in manufacturing/producing the wheel/rim assembly.
Third-Party Defendant Hoosier Stamping and Manufacturing Co. contended that, although it did produce some wheel/rim assemblies for MTD, it did not produce the offending wheel/rim.
Injuries: Injuries included left mandibular fracture and right facial laceration at sideburn. Plaintiff underwent surgery for the mandibular factures.
Specials: Medicals: $32,592.31 Lost Income: N/A Occupation: N/A
What Each Defendant Paid: MTD Products, Inc. ($100,000.00)
Insurance Company: MTD Products, Inc. is self-insured. Hoosier Stamping and Manufacturing Co. is insured by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.