“New York has more than 7,000,000 acres of farmland and almost 25,000 farm families. And farming in New York, especially on our hilly landscape, can be challenging,” said Syracuse personal injury lawyer Michael A. Bottar, Esq., of Bottar Leone, PLLC, a team of New York product liability attorneys.
According to the National Safety Council, the leading cause of farmer death over the past 40 years has been tractor rollovers or overturns. Many of the tractors involved in incidents leading to serious injury or death were brought into the country long ago. Some of the tractors were imported through intended channels, including authorized United States dealers and distributors. However, some of the equipment is “gray market.” Gray market equipment is equipment manufactured for another market, such as Asia, but imported into the United States through private channels for resale and use.
However tractors made their way into the United States, and into the possession of New York farmers, many are not equipped with rollover protection systems (also known as ROPS). ROPS include seatbelts, as well as cabins or cages to protect an occupant from a crush injury should the equipment flip during use. “These machines may be unreasonably dangerous and, in turn, defective,” Bottar said.
This year, New York State will spend as much as $100,000.00 to equip tractors with ROPS by offering a discount or subsidy to farmers of $600.00 for a ROPS system to update equipment manufactured by, e.g., Kubota, Yanmar and Caterpillar. The telephone number for the ROPS hotline is: 1-877-ROPS-R4U.
If you or a loved one were injured in a tractor rollover, the manufacturer of the tractor may be liable if the machine was not equipped with ROPS. To speak with a New York product liability attorney, contact us at (315) 422-3466, 1-800-336-5297, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.