Allegedly defective trolling motor leads to suit against Brunswick, others

A Randolph County man is suing over claims he was injured when attempting to fix a defective trolling motor installed on his boat.

Roger Sweeney filed a lawsuit April 3 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against AW Corporation, Brunswick Corporation and Belleville Sports Sales Inc., citing product liability.

According to the complaint, Belleville Sports Sales sold Sweeney a Motorguide trolling motor for his boat and installed it in March 2013. The lawsuit says Sweeney was using the motor on Rend Lake in Benton on May 11, when he attempted to pull the cord on the motor to adjust it, but the motor locked in place due to a design or manufacturing defect. Sweeney says he had to cut the zip ties to pull the motor out of the water, and in the process sustained a cut to an artery on his hand.

AW Corporation and Brunswick Corporation are involved in the design and manufacture of the product. The defendants are accused of strict product liability, negligent product liability and negligence.

Sweeney is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. He is being represented in the case by attorneys Mark C. Scoggins, Clay B. St. Clair and Anthony P. Gilbreth of Crowder & Scoggins Ltd.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 14-L-252.

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