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New York Dairy Farm Accident Leads To Death Of Skaneateles Man: Was Tractor Equipped with ROPS?

According to, the body of Richard G. Fesko was found on Friday afternoon in a manure pit off of East Lake Road in Skaneateles, New York. The circumstances of Mr. Fesko’s death are under investigation. The family told police that Mr. Fesko was spreading manure the day he died.

Generally, manure is spread by a tractor equipped with a manure spreader. Customarily, the spreader is either attached to or pulled behind the tractor. Tractor attachments, including manure spreaders, can cause tractors to become unstable and tip or roll depending upon the terrain. If a tractor that does not have ROPS (roll over protection systems) flips or rolls, the driver can be thrown from the equipment and suffer serious injury and/or be crushed underneath the weight of the machine.

For more than twenty years, farm equipment manufacturers have known that ROPS save lives. While most manufacturers build their machines with ROPS, some have refused to do so — primarily because ROPS make equipment more expensive. In these circumstances, the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable for personal injury and/or wrongful death. Other equipment was manufactured and sold before ROPS became standard operating equipment. Even so, manufacturers have a duty to notify existing customers that safety devices have become available and can be retrofit to old machines. We discussed ROPS subsidies in our prior post entitled “New York Tractor Rollover Injury and Death To Decline With ROPS Subsidy.”

If you or a loved one were injured in a farm tractor accident or lawn mower accident and would like to know whether you have a claim against the manufacturer for product liability, contact our Syracuse New York personal injury lawyers at (833) 268-8277 or by email at

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