Plaintiff Claims Injury Could Have Been Averted If Corn Picker Had An Emergency Button

Chad E. Kaiser, a New York resident, filed a product liability lawsuit in Tompkins County, N.Y. Supreme Court, claiming that manufacturers of a corn picking machine should be liable for damages and personal injury due to the lack of an emergency button on the farm equipment. 

The complaint was filed against AGCO Corporation, AVCO Corporation, The Paul Revere Corporation, Textron Inc., Allied Products Corporation, and New Idea Corporation, along with other companies who were involved in the production of the farm equipment. The machine involved in the litigation, the New Idea Model 326 Husking Unit and/or Corn Picker, was designed, manufactured, sold, inspected, or distributed by the defendants. 

Edward and Gail Kaiser, co-owners of a beef cattle farm called “Kaiser Acres” in Newfield, N.Y. purchased the corn picker in 2009. As part of the business, they grow corn which is used to feed the cattle. In December 2017, Chad was assisting his parents on the farm and was standing next to the corn picker while his father was running the machine and tripped. The plaintiff reportedly fell towards the corn picker and his hand was pulled into the dehusking rollers, which were not guarded. He was transported by air to a hospital for immediate care. 

The complaint stated that “the severe and permanent injury caused to (the) plaintiff was a proximate result of the negligent and/or defective design of (the) defendants’ subject corn picker and/or its accompanying systems, including the absence of safety guards and emergency shutoff in a location accessible to an operator.” 

The defendants were also accused of not identifying or fixing the defects and negligence. The complaint included accusations of design defect, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, breach of express and implied warranties, and negligence. 

The plaintiff, represented by Porter Nordby Howe, asked the court for a judgment in his favor, a jury trial, and relief.