John Deere mower accident suit set for status hearing in August

Amelia Flood Jun. 24, 2009, 12:44pm

A 2008 suit stemming from injuries sustained by a toddler who was rolled over by a lawn mower has a status conference scheduled for August.

One of the defendants in the suit, Home Depot Inc., has filed a motion for summary judgment that, if granted, would leave tractor-maker John Deere Company as the lone defendant in a product liability and negligence suit.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto is presiding.

Michelle Nicklin is asking for damages in excess of $250,000, costs, and medical bills over injuries her son, Connor, sustained in March 2007. The then-three year-old Connor Nicklin was severely injured when his father, Corey Nicklin, backed over him on a riding mower.

Connor Nicklin suffered a full thickness laceration extending from his left upper thigh to below his knee with his femur protruding when the accident happened, according to the complaint. The child had several toes amputated and has undergone several surgeries. The complaint further alleges Connor Nicklin suffered pain, mental anguish, future disability, loss of enjoyment and past and future medical costs due to the accident.

According to the complaint, John Deere and Home Depot – where the couple bought the lawn mower – were negligent in failing to warn the couple of dangers from its reverse mowing mechanism, the mower was defectively designed and other allegations.

Home Depot has since moved to designate John Deere as the manufacturer and obtain a summary judgment.

Both Deere and Home Depot denied the plaintiff's charges in their answers.

The Nicklins are represented by Amy Collington Gunn of St. Louis.

The defendants are represented by William Schmitt of Swansea and others.

The case is St. Clair case number 08-L-305.

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