OMC wins verdict in prop accident trial

Published online: Nov 23, 2011 News Trade Only Today
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A jury in Reno, Nev., found in favor Monday of Outboard Marine Corp., which was sued by Robin Listman for injuries from a propeller accident in 2001.

The Propeller Guard Information Center, which covered the trial, said the jury found that the product was not unreasonably dangerous and did not fail to perform in the manner reasonably to be expected in light of its nature and intended function.

Listman was on Pyramid Lake in Washoe County, Nev., on Aug. 18, 2001, boating with her in-laws on their 19-foot Four Winns 1995 boat powered by an OMC Cobra sterndrive.

A toy that belonged to her son blew into the water. The owner of the boat drove to the toy, the wind blew it behind the boat, and Listman stepped onto the swim platform to retrieve it and fell in, according to the Propeller Guard Information Center.

The owner put the boat in reverse and the propeller seriously injured Listman. She lost a portion of her right leg.

The case was filed in August 2003. In July 2008, summary judgment was issued in favor of Outboard Marine. However, in August 2009 the summary judgment was vacated and a decision was made to allow the case to proceed to trial after it was remanded by the state Supreme Court.

A mistrial was declared last year. Early this year, OMC unsuccessfully argued that the propeller accident took place on American Indian lands and that the court did not have jurisdiction, according to the center.

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