EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon teenager who sued her father and a lawn mower manufacturer after she lost her left leg when she was a toddler has been awarded more than $12 million.
The Lane County jury sided with 14-year-old Isabelle Norton in Monday’s verdict, finding her father Kirk Norton and Deere & Co. at fault, The Register-Guard reports .
Kirk Norton had backed over his daughter with a riding lawn mower outside their Springfield home in May 2006. Lawyers for the teen had argued that the father was negligent and the lawn mower had inadequate safety features.
The manufacturer was ordered to pay $9.5 million. Kirk Norton was order to pay about $2.7 million.
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“It’s been a long nine years of waiting for this verdict,” Isabelle Norton said. “I’m very grateful to the jury and for my attorneys for all the hard work they did. Now I just hope that John Deere and other manufacturers will change the design so that no one else will have to go through what I’ve been through.”
Deere attorney James Brogan told jurors that the mower that Norton bought and used in his backyard had met all applicable standards and contained no manufacturing defects. “It was designed with everything necessary to make it safe,” Brogan said.
The teen’s lawyer Don Corson said the case could drag on for several more years should Deere seek an appeal. Deere initially won the case in 2009, but that verdict was appealed, leading to this trial.
Kirk Norton, meanwhile, was arrested for child molestation in 2010, and he pleaded guilty in the case one year later. He’s now serving a 17-year prison sentence. Norton’s criminal case was unrelated to Isabelle, according to one of her lawyers.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com