Madison - St. Clair Record

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Deer hunter sues Cabela's and Tenpoint after losing thumb in crossbow

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 12, 2012


A man claims he lost his thumb after using a crossbow that he was told was the best and safest crossbow he could purchase.

Cyril B. Korte filed a lawsuit May 25 in Madison County District Court against Hunter's Manufacturing Company doing business as Tenpoint Crossbow Technologies and Cabela's Retail.

Korte claims he visited Cabela's in Hazelwood, Mo., in November 2009 to purchase a crossbow. After being informed of "the best and safest crossbow," Korte settled on a Tenpoint Phantom CLS crossbow, according to the complaint.

"Plaintiff relied on the expertise and representations of Cabela's in selecting and purchasing the Phantom CLS crossbow," the suit states.

On Nov. 12, 2011, Korte decided to use his crossbow to go deer hunting. As Korte was firing the crossbow at a deer, the bow string from the crossbow struck his left thumb, completely amputating a portion of it, the complaint says. Korte went to see doctors, but they were unable to replace his thumb.

Tenpoint should have known of the dangerous propensities of its weapon, Korte claims.

"Such injuries to users' fingers or thumb are the most common injuries associated with the use of Tenpoint's crossbows and Tenpoint was at all relevant times aware of this fact," the suit states.

Although the crossbow did contain a safety device called a GripSafety, the device was not adequate to protect users, Korte alleges.

"The GripSafety does not require the user to hold the fore-grip properly and safely below the surface of the flight rail," the complaint says. "For example, the thumb may slide up the GripSafety button and above the surface of the flight rail while continuously depressing the GripSafety button."

The crossbow should have included a grip guard to protect the thumb from slipping, according to the complaint.

In addition to an amputated thumb, Korte sustained physical impairment and disfigurement, experienced physical pain and suffering and endured an impaired ability to enjoy life because of the incident, the suit states. He also incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Korte alleges design defect, violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and willful and wanton conduct against Tenpoint. He alleges strict products liability, violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and breach of implied warranty of merchantability against Cabela's.

He seeks a judgment of more than $600,000, plus attorney's fees and costs. He also seeks injunctive relief that would require Tenpoint to notify all Illinois residents about the dangerous nature of the crossbow, that would prohibit the company from selling dangerous crossbows and that would force the company to provide a free grip guard to all Illinois consumers.

Jeffrey S. Hebrank, Jason D. Johnson and W. Jason Rankin of Hepler Broom in Edwardsville will be representing him.

Madison County District Court case number: 12-L-739.

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