Tractor owner sues Kubota over finger amputation

Michelle Massey Dec. 13, 2010, 2:10pm


A St. Tammany Parish resident is suing the manufacturer of his tractor after he accidentally amputated parts of his fingers during an effort to install a roll-over device.

Richard Lenzen and Kathy Lenzen filed suit against Kubota Tractor Corp. and Kubota Manufacturing of America on Dec. 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

The incident occurred on Dec. 10, 2009 as Richard Lenzen was attempting to raise the Roll-Over Protective Structure on his Kubota tractor. Lenzen states that he lifted the heavy structure to its upright position with both hands but in his attempt to secure the structure he briefly let go. The structure dropped from its upright position and pinched Lenzen's right hand, causing an amputation of a portion of his index finger and middle finger.

He claims the injury has caused permanent disfigurement and forced him to undergo extensive medical treatment, including surgery.

The defendants are accused of violating express and implied warranties and for manufacturing an unreasonably dangerous product.

Lenzen states the tractor was dangerous and defective because the tractor did not have a safety device/latch to prevent the roll-over device from falling suddenly.

Lenzen is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Stephen C. Aertker, Jr. and Stefini W. Salles of Aertker Legal in Covington. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge A. J. McNamara is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-0449

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