Yamaha vows appeal after jury awards $3.3 million in Rhino rollover case

Publish Date: 
May 3, 2013
By Holly J. Wagner

“In the second trial we focused on Yamaha’s conduct in continuing to sell the Rhino despite their knowledge of the ‘flat turn rollover’ and the injuries and fatalities that resulted,” Watson said.

“In the second trial we focused on Yamaha’s conduct in continuing to sell the Rhino despite their knowledge of the ‘flat turn rollover’ and the injuries and fatalities that resulted.”

-- Aaron Watson, plaintiff's attorney

The trial on wantonness claims alleged Yamaha was “wanton and reckless in designing, developing, manufacturing, engineering, inspecting (or failing to inspect), testing (or failing to test), assembling, distributing and selling the Rhino, which as designed, manufactured and sold created a substantial likelihood of injury to consumers...”

“The interesting thing about trying this case solely on wantonness is that wantonness requires a much higher burden of proof than negligence.” Watson said. “You must prove that Yamaha literally behaved recklessly and consciously disregarded the safety of its consumers. It is the absolute worst conduct a corporation can engage in.”

Yamaha “stands firmly behind the Rhino and will continue to vigorously defend the product,” Holmes said. “The Rhino is a safe and useful off-road vehicle when driven responsibly, and has won many ‘first in class’ awards and top safety ratings in independent reviews since its introduction.”