Deer hunter blames stand maker for fall

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 14, 2004, 3:00am

An Aviston man who suffered neck and back injuries after falling from a deer stand is suing the hunting equipment's manufacturer and retailer for more than $300,000.

Kevin Koerkenmeier filed a six-count suit Dec. 13 in Madison County Circuit Court against Lone Wolf Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, and Anthony J. Italiano and North American Outfitters of Highland.

Koerkenmeier, represented by Rand Juliano of O'Fallon, suffered extensive injuries from a fall on Oct. 4, 2003, during a hunting trip to New Grand Chain, Ill. He bought the deer stand manufactured by Lone Wolf at North American at its Highland retail store in 2002.

According to the complaint, Koerkenmeier was securing the deer stand to a tree 18 feet above ground when a plastic versa button, which anchors the stand to the tree, broke.

After the versa button broke, Koerkenmeier fell from the stand. His injuries were so severe he had to be transported to the hospital by helicopter.

"The versa button could have been designed of metal to provide a more secure anchoring point to stabilize and secure the deer stand in a tree," the complaint states.

Koerkenmeier claims a metal design is an economically feasible and a safer alternative, which does not affect the usefulness and desirability of the deer stand.

The deer stand was unreasonably dangerous, improperly designed and defective, Koerkenmeier claims.

As a result of the deer stand and versa button breaking, Koerkenmeier claims he has suffered and continues to suffer serious and permanent injury to his person and other damages, including, but not limited to:

  • Physical pain, both past and future;

  • Emotional suffering and grief;

  • Substantial health care and medical expenses;

  • Loss of enjoyment of life; and

  • Permanent impairment and partial disability;

  • Lost wages as set forth in the preliminary written report prepared by qualified expert, Norman W. Johanson and dated Nov. 12, 2004.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

    04 L 1368

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