Mother targets ATV manufacturer claiming accelerator stuck in boy's crash

Kelly Holleran Jun. 1, 2009, 11:36am

The mother of a minor boy says her son fractured his face and right arm after the ATV he was riding crashed into a tree.

Michelle Herkert filed a suit individually and on behalf of her minor son, Ryan Herkert, on May 22 in Madison County Circuit Court against Alton Motorsports, Central Avenue Auto Part, Tao Tao La Industry and J&B Trading.

Michelle Herkert says her son was riding a four wheel ATV in Madison County on May 8, 2007, when the accelerator stuck. That caused Ryan Herkert to lose control of the ATV and crash into a tree, according to the complaint.

In addition to his injuries, Ryan Herkert experienced pain and suffering and lost his enjoyment of life, the suit states.

Michelle Herkert says she is liable for the cost of medical treatment for her son.

The ATV was "unreasonably dangerous and defective" because its carburetor cap was not adequately tightened or properly designed so as to allow it to come unscrewed and loosened due to engine vibration, the complaint says.

Defendants Alton Motorsports and Central Avenue Auto Parts sold the vehicle to Herkert, the complaint says.

Alton Motorsports had purchased the ATV from defendant J&B Trading, according to court records.

Defendant Tao Tao La Industry manufactured the vehicle, according to court records.

In the eight-count suit, Michelle Herkert is seeking an unspecified judgment, plus costs.

Doug Mendenhall of Smith, Mendenhall and Selby in Alton will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-527.

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