A 38-year-Florida old woman who suffered severe injuries when the Yamaha Rhino Utility Terrain Vehicle she was riding in rolled over is now suing Yamaha Motor Corporation.
Rachel A. Jollimore was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when the driver swerved to avoid hitting a tree, causing the Rhino to roll onto its side. Jollimore was pinned underneath the UTV. She sustained a fractured skull and broken hand in the accident, which occurred in a field in Silver Springs, Florida.
Jollimore told Ocala.com that she has been considerably impaired since the July 2007 accident. “I have to watch what I do. I can’t pick anything up heavy. I can bend, but I have a limited ability. I can’t sleep on my stomach,” she told Ocala.com
In addition to suing Yamaha, Jollimore has filed suit against a manufacturing division of Yamaha and the Ocala dealer that sold the Rhino. Her suit alleges the Rhino possesses a number of design flaws that make it unsafe, including high center of gravity, narrow track width, narrow wheels and tires, and side-by-side seating. all of which contribute to the vehicle’s propensity to roll over in certain conditions.
The suit is one of the latest in a growing number of lawsuits against Yamaha throughout the country. About 200 lawsuits involving the Rhino UTV have been filed to date in both state and federal courts.
The Rhino debuted in the U.S. in 2003. Since then, more than 100,000 of the UTVs have been sold nationwide.
Jollimore has accrued more than $100,000 in medical expenses related to the accident. She seeks damages for herself and for her family, according to Ocala.com.
Yamaha continues to stand behind the Rhino and its design, claiming that the vehicle is safe when it is used responsibly.