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Cook and Del Gatto Obtain Dismissal for Canadian Insurer in Significant ATV Accident

January 13, 2020

William Cook (Partner-Michigan) and Brian Del Gatto (Partner-Arizona) obtained dismissal of a lawsuit against the insured of a major Canadian insurer, for which we act as national counsel, involving an ATV accident in which a husband, the insured, was operating the ATV with his wife as a passenger. The husband lost control of the ATV, ejecting him and his wife, who suffered neck, back and head injuries, requiring neck surgery and possibly a second one. She sued her husband. Michigan has a statute that says individuals participating in the sport of ATV riding assume the risk of being injured, absent the injuries being caused by the negligence of the operator. The wife argued her husband was negligent in operating the ATV because he was driving too fast and had the wrong type of tires on the ATV. Bill and Brian argued otherwise. There was no evidence of inappropriate speed or incorrect tires. They argued that the accident was caused by uneven terrain during a proper acceleration by the husband. The trial court agreed, concluding there was no evidence of negligence by the husband, and granted our dispositive motion.

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