Newport Beach, CA (PRWEB) July 5, 2007
According to papers filed in the case of Cristina Mauth v. Yamaha Motor Corporation (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 06CC03452), on February 28, 2004, 50-year old Riverside woman, Cristina Mauth, sustained numerous injuries, including a fractured left arm, when the rear brakes of her 2004 Yamaha “660R Raptor” ATV allegedly failed. Ms. Mauth’s lawsuit further alleges that, one week after her injury, Ms. Mauth received a “Safety Recall Notice” from Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. dated February 27, 2004, warning owners of the “660R Raptor” that there was a significant risk of rear brake failure. According to Ms. Mauth’s attorneys, to date, despite Yamaha’s nationwide ATV recall campaign and apparent indications that Yamaha may have been responsible for the rear brake defect, Yamaha has refused to offer Ms. Mauth even a penny in compensation for her personal injuries.
Mrs. Mauth is represented by Orange County Personal Injury Attorney, Stephen D. Counts of Newport Beach plaintiff’s firm, Russell & Lazarus. Mr. Counts says, “when the very lives and safety of consumers are at stake, it is only reasonable to expect that a large multinational corporation like Yamaha should be held accountable for designing, manufacturing, and distributing defective and harmful products.”
According to documents produced by Yamaha, the February 28th “Safety Recall Notice” was issued by Yamaha Motor Corporation’s Customer Support Group, located in Cypress, California. The Safety Recall Notice advises, among other things, that, “vibration from the engine and driveline during prolonged high rpm usage could cause the rear master cylinder reservoir to agitate, resulting in brake fluid aeration.” Yamaha specifically instructed customers that “you should not ride your ATV until this modification is performed.”
“Unfortunately for Cristina Mauth, Yamaha’s recall campaign was not issued in time to save her from a devastating ATV accident,” says Attorney Counts. Mrs. Mauth alleges in her lawsuit that, as a result of the accident, she was catapulted from her ATV and down a hill. Mrs. Mauth further alleges that she suffered a fractured left arm, which required an internal fixation surgery and the insertion of rods and screws, which remain to this day. Currently, Mrs. Mauth claims ongoing weakness and pain in the left arm and shoulder, as well as diagnosed emotional injuries, including depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Moreoever, Mrs. Mauth alleges that she was forced to be absent from work for several months after the accident and, ultimately, was terminated from her administrative position with Action Embroidery, a job she had held for 19 years.
Based upon documents produced by Mrs. Mauth in the course of litigation, it appears that Mrs. Mauth purchased her 2004 Yamaha Raptor ATV on November 23, 2003. Based upon documentation recently obtained from Yamaha, it now appears that Yamaha may have known of the rear brake defect before Ms. Mauth purchased her ATV, and before Yamaha began the recall campaign.
In fact, several “Call Reports” prepared by Yamaha in 2003 and produced to Mrs. Mauth’s attorneys contain evidence suggesting that customers were complaining of repeated rear brake failures in April, May, and June of 2003. These “Call Reports” released by Yamaha suggest the following: on April 15, 2003, Yamaha customer, Zack Garrett, reported that he was involved in an ATV accident due to brake failure; on May 19, 2003, Yamaha customer, Frank Vaiana, reported that his son’s “brake pedal was pushed all the way to the floor” with no response; on June 26, 2003, Yamaha customer, Wayne Wathen, reported what appears to be the third of three master cylinder failures; on October 21, 2003, Yamaha customer, George Vera, reported that he was involved in an accident when his 2004 Raptor experienced brake failure.
Testing Reports obtained from Yamaha further indicate that, as early as August of 2003, testing performed by Yamaha revealed the existence of air bubbles in the brake fluid reservoir tank and the hose leading to the master cylinder. Despite these results, Yamaha did not issue the recall campaign until nearly half a year later, on February 28, 2004.
According to Yamaha’s own records, there are approximately 39 injury claims nationwide related to the “660R Raptor” alleged brake defect and eight of those are located in California. To date, according to Mrs. Mauth’s attorneys, Yamaha has refused to make a settlement offer with respect to Mrs. Mauth’s claim for injuries.
“Yamaha Motor Corporation’s hard-line approach with respect to Cristina’s case is not unexpected and we are prepared for a fight,” says Orange County product liability attorney, Stephen Counts. Mr. Counts goes on to say, “it is the unfortunate state of our society that large corporations and the insurance industry have simply become accustomed to running roughshod over the rights of consumers in the pursuit of shareholder profits.”
Cristina Mauth v. Yamaha Motor Corporation (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 06CC03452) is being heard in Department C21 of the Orange County Superior Court, Central Justice Center and is currently scheduled for trial on November 19, 2007.
Orange County personal injury lawyer, Stephen D. Counts, is an experienced litigator, practicing exclusively in the area of Serious Personal Injury at the firm of Russell & Lazarus, APC in the City of Newport Beach, California.
For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release:
Stephen D. Counts, Esq.
Russell & Lazarus, APC
4921 Birch Street, Suite 120
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Main Office: 949-851-0222
Cell Phone: 714-679-3221
Web Site: www.OrangeCountyInjury.com