By The Associated Press
JACKSON — A lawsuit in Mississippi says a man was seriously injured after he was attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets, jumped off his riding lawnmower and was run over by the machine.
Everardo Garfias claims a cut-off switch should have disengaged the engine when he jumped off the Husqvarna lawnmower on July 26 when he was cutting grass in Tate County for his lawn service.
Many lawnmowers have devices that will shut down the engine if the rider gets off the seat while the blades are engaged. In this case, Garfias says the switch was defective.
The manufacturers of the lawnmower and its engine denied the allegations in court records.
The lawsuit said the lawnmower blades sliced Garfias legs, completely severing one knee cap. He was airlifted to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., for lifesaving treatment, the lawsuit said.
Garfias filed the lawsuit in Tate County Circuit Court in April against Husqvarna Professional Products Inc. and Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., which made the lawnmower’s motor.
Kawasaki Motors filed court papers this week to have the case moved to U.S. District Court in Oxford.
Stephanie C. Edgar, a lawyer for Kawasaki Motors, said Friday that she can’t comment on pending litigation.
Husqvarna lawyers didn’t respond to phone messages Friday and a call to a company spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
Garfias said in the lawsuit that he bought the lawnmower less than two months before the accident and it was still in “new, factory condition” when he was injured.
“He has difficulty walking and doing even the most remedial task. His legs will never be the same,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Based in Sweden, Husqvarna Group says it’s the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products. Husqvarna Professional Products Inc. has U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. has headquarters in Irvine, Calif.,according to its website.
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