Bass Pro and ratchet strap maker sued by man who falls from tree

Kelly Holleran Oct. 6, 2009, 7:56am

A St. Clair County man has filed suit against the manufacturers of a nylon ratchet strap used to secure a ladder stand after he says the stand fell while he was standing on it.

Gene Crowe claims he was in a tree on a ladder stand on Oct. 3, 2007, when a nylon ratchet strap manufactured by defendant Strong Built failed, and the ladder stand fell to the ground.

Because of the incident, Crowe sustained great pain and suffering, experienced severe injuries to his head, neck, ears, chest, ribs, abdomen, spine, arms, legs and nervous system and lost large sums of money because of his inability to pursue his normal occupation, according to the suit. In addition, he incurred medical costs, the suit filed Sept. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.

Crowe blames Strong Built for defectively designing and manufacturing the ladder stand and for containing insufficient warnings related to the nylon ratchet strap.

In addition, Strong Built failed to provide sufficient straps to secure the ladder stand to the tree, provided straps that were inadequate in size, failed to provide an adequate number of straps and failed to provide adequate warnings, the complaint says.

Also named as a defendant is Bass Pro Shops, where Crowe bought the ladder stand.

In the eight-count suit, Crowe is seeking a judgment of more than $400,000, plus costs.

He will be represented by John P. Cunningham of Brown and James in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-500.

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