Attorneys Eric S. Olson and Christopher P. Higley of Cutt, Kendell & Olson have filed a complaint against Polaris Industries, Inc. on behalf of two plaintiffs who suffered severe injuries while operating a 2019 RZR Turbo.
On February 23, 2019, Chad Reis and Thomas Lamb were traveling in a 2019 Turbo RZR in Riverside County, California. Reis purchased this four-wheel vehicle to explore trails and enjoy a little recreational off-roading – activities the RZR brand is (theoretically) designed to handle. In fact, Polaris is advertising the latest RZR XP Turbo with the following tagline: “Dominate any off-road landscape & fear no terrain.”
However, Reis’ vehicle unexpectedly caught fire in the middle of their excursion. Although the plaintiffs quickly escaped the vehicle, they suffered severe burns, and the fire destroyed the RZR. The victims are now seeking compensatory damages from Polaris Industries.
A History of Negligence
Polaris Industries, Inc. has a history of manufacturing and marketing defective off-road vehicles that are prone to randomly catching fire. Although Polaris started receiving injury reports as early as 1999, the company has repeatedly failed to recall the defective vehicles, investigate the source of the fires, or report the matter to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) in a timely manner.
Each year, Polaris releases a new RZR model with engines and exhaust systems that generate excessive thermal heat, resulting in a fire hazard. The company has been forced to acknowledge that this is a defective design, but despite numerous recalls, and lawsuits, these defects appear to be carried over to newer models. In 2011, Polaris received hundreds of reports that the RZR XP 900 was experiencing thermal damage, melting, and fires between the exhaust header and the seat back. By 2013, RZRs were catching fire and, in some cases, completely burning to the ground. Three years later, Polaris was forced to issue a recall of 133,000 RZR 900 and 1000 models after collecting over 160 reports describing vehicular fires and burn injuries.
Polaris told the CPSC that the defective vehicles should be safe after undergoing recall repairs. Nevertheless, later models, including the 2019 RZR Turbo, are still catching fire.
The attorneys at Cutt, Kendell & Olson are committed to helping Chad Reis and Thomas Lamb hold Polaris accountable for the following acts of negligence and more:
- Failure to properly design, manufacture, test, and inspect their vehicles.
- Failure to modify or redesign the vehicles’ thermal systems.
- Failure to provide adequate warnings and/or instructions regarding the safe use of RZR models.
- Failure to make design changes or modifications that could reduce the risk of fire and protect vehicle occupants.
- Failure to recall unsafe vehicles.
- Failure to properly inform consumers and the CSPC about the extent of this problem.
- Failure to notify their engineers about the incident reports.
- Failure to adequately staff a product safety department.
Pursue Justice & Compensation Through Civil Litigation
At Cutt, Kendell & Olson, we believe that civil litigation can encourage negligent companies to make positive policy changes. Our firm has represented several cases involving Polaris off-road vehicles, which means that we have the experience, skills, and resources to effectively litigate on behalf of our clients. In fact, our firm has been instrumental in pressuring Polaris to recall its most dangerous products.
If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed while operating a defective RZR model, contact our Polaris vehicle fire attorneys to discuss your case with a qualified legal professional. With our guidance, you can recover compensation for any property damage, past and future medical expenses, income loss, pain and suffering, and more.
Read more on our Press Release.
We represent clients across the country. Contact Cutt, Kendell & Olsonat (801) 901-3470 to schedule a free consultation with our award-winning legal team.