Trial ongoing between family of killed city worker, mower manufacturer

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012

A trial related to the tragic 2009 death of a Thorsby city employee is ongoing in the Chilton County Courthouse.

The family of Jeremy Wayne McDonald, who died when the city lawnmower he was operating flipped and crushed him, filed suit on June 7, 2010, against the mower’s manufacturer and local distributor, according to court records.

Clanton Tractor and Equipment, which sold the mower to the city of Thorsby, reached a settlement with the plaintiffs on Feb. 8, before the case went to trial. The terms of that settlement haven’t been released.

The jury trial in the case of Rebecca B. McDonald and Jimmy Wayne McDonald vs. Kubota Manufacturing Corporation of America began March 6 and is scheduled to last at least through next week.

Part of the plaintiff’s allegations is that the mower Jeremy McDonald was operating at the time of his death did not feature a “roll-over protection structure,” which are common in newer model mowers. The complaint reads that the mower was “unreasonably dangerous” and that McDonald wasn’t warned of the danger.

The defendant contests those charges.

The plaintiff seeks punitive damages in an amount that hasn’t been determined.

Legal representation for neither party could be reached for comment.

Judge Ben Fuller is presiding over the trial.