News Reports Find Poor Design of Rhino® Terrain Vehicles Linked to Serious Injuries and Deaths

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South Florida law firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA (Searcy Denney) steps up its investigation into serious injuries and deaths tied to design defects in Yamaha Rhino® all terrain vehicles.

Every year, more and more families are devastated by deaths and injuries caused by ATVs. This tragic problem continues to be in dire need of an aggressive and immediate solution.

South Florida law firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA (Searcy Denney) steps up its investigation into serious injuries and deaths tied to design defects in Yamaha Rhino® all terrain vehicles. The Rhino®, classified as a "utility terrain vehicle," is not subject to the same safety standards as other ATVs.

The Rhino®, introduced to the market in 2003, has been linked to hundreds of roll-overs due to its high center of gravity and narrow wheel base, according to news reports. (See, Melanie Trottman and Christopher Conkey, "U.S. Probes Off-Road Vehicles After a String of Accidents," Wall Street Journal, Nov. 4, 2008). Weighing approximately 1,000 pounds, it is responsible for hundreds of emergency room visits by children pinned or ejected from the ATV vehicle after a roll-over.

Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety, for the Consumer Federation of America said, "Every year, more and more families are devastated by deaths and injuries caused by ATVs. This tragic problem continues to be in dire need of an aggressive and immediate solution."

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the design of the Rhino® flies under the ATV safety standards radar. It is not subjected to the same safety standards because of golf cart like design elements and special features such as bucket seats and a steering wheel.

"Yamaha's Rhino® is potentially a very dangerous product. The company has been very successful to date in keeping the extent of the danger from the public and regulatory authorities," said Cal Warriner, an attorney for Searcy Denney. "The irony is the product is marketed for off road, recreational use and it is exceptionally prone to low speed roll-overs. That is just unacceptable. This is yet another example of manufacturers throwing poorly designed, unsafe products on the market in an effort to beat their competition to the profit tree. It should send shivers down the spine of everyone familiar with safety standard based preemption."

Federal safety regulators are now investigating following reports of 30 deaths.

Searcy Denney has set up a hotline to answer consumer questions about Rhino® all terrain vehicles. For more information, go to http://www.searcylaw.com.

About Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA:
A nationally recognized trial law firm, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. is committed to protecting and vindicating the rights of people injured through negligence, deceit and abuse of power. Over the past 30 years, the firm has represented clients in courtrooms throughout Florida and across the nation.

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