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10/12/2005

Quadriplegic sues ATV maker for his injuries

BY JAMES HAGGERTY STAFF WRITER



John F. Ogozaly, 46, of 114 Plank Road, is suing the manufacturer for an ATV accident that happened June 15, 1996, in Archbald. Mr. Ogozaly, who is a quadriplegic, is seeking in excess of $50,000 plus punitive damages for negligence, liability and breach of warranty. His complaint alleges the three-wheeled vehicle was defective.

Honda argues that Mr. Ogozaly was drunk at the time of the accident, did not wear a helmet and was responsible for his injuries.

Mr. Ogozaly was injured as he was operating a 1986 ATV on a road next to The Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority treatment plant. His attorney, Daniel Munley, said Mr. Ogozaly was driving about 20 mph when the right rear tire of the ATV hit a bump in the road and as he turned to avoid tipping, the vehicle ran off the road and down a six-foot embankment. Mr. Ogozaly sustained a broken neck in the crash.

Experts will testify that the single rear axle design of the vehicle was defective and caused the accident, Mr. Munley said.

“He sits in front of you a broken man,” Mr. Munley told the jury. “They marketed and sold a three-legged horse.”

Court papers indicate Mr. Ogozaly’s blood-alcohol content when he arrived at Community Medical Center after the accident was equivalent to .189. A driver with a level of .08 is considered legally drunk in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ogozaly drank for several hours before going on the ATV ride and admitted he consumed about 12 beers, said attorney Paul Cereghini of Phoenix, who represents Honda, which is based in Torrance, Calif.

“He was intoxicated, heavily intoxicated,” Mr. Cereghini told the jury.

Mr. Ogozaly did not drive a car and had very little experience operating ATVs, Mr. Cereghini said. He said Mr. Ogozaly’s injuries could have been limited if he was wearing a helmet.

“We’re going to prove that Mr. Ogozaly was solely responsible for his accident,” Mr. Cereghini said.

Testimony in the case started Tuesday afternoon before Judge Terrence Nealon.
 

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Mr. Ogozaly drank for several hours before going on the ATV ride and admitted he consumed about 12 beers, said attorney Paul Cereghini of Phoenix, who represents Honda, which is based in Torrance, Calif.

“He was intoxicated, heavily intoxicated,” Mr. Cereghini told the jury.

HOPE HE LOSES!:pod:
 

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Must have been a hell of a bump if the atv tire was in the air high enough to tip. Let's face it he was hammered and probably felt like he was going to tip so he over compensated and wiped out. Take responsability for being a drunk idiot and go away!
 

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I'm pretty sure the statue of limitations wore out on any liablity Honda may have had a long time ago.


Even though I think the fault lies not in the design of the three wheeler, but in the inexperience and intoxication of the driver.
 

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11/05/2005

Honda not liable for Mayfield man’s ATV injury

BY JAMES HAGGERTY STAFF WRITER

A Lackawanna County jury Friday cleared American Honda Motor Co. in a Mayfield man’s product liability suit involving an all-terrain vehicle accident that left him paralyzed.

The jury deliberated about two hours before finding that the vehicle was not defective and that American Honda was not negligent in the accident.

John F. Ogozaly, 46, of 114 Plank Road, sued as a result of an ATV accident June 15, 1995, in Archbald.

His complaint alleged the three-wheeled vehicle was defective and that the single-axle design of vehicle contributed to the accident

Mr. Ogozaly suffered a broken neck in the accident, which occurred on a road next to the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority treatment plant.

American Honda, based in Torrance, Calif., introduced evidence that Mr. Ogozaly consumed about 12 beers before riding the vehicle and that his blood-alcohol content after the accident was 0.189. A driver with a level of 0.08 is considered legally drunk in Pennsylvania.

American Honda also introduced testimony regarding the safety of the vehicle, including a court appearance by the Japanese engineer who designed it.

“The jury decided this was a good, safe, defect-free vehicle,” attorney Paul Cereghini, who represented the company, said after the verdict.

He said the jury decided the case based on the vehicle’s capabilities, not the fact that Mr. Ogozaly was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Attorney Daniel Munley, who represented Mr. Ogozaly, expressed disappointment after the verdict.

“I did the best I could,” he said. “I wanted John to have his day in court and while I disagree with the verdict, the jury has spoken.”

Testimony in the case started Oct. 11 before Judge Terrence Nealon.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
 

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I agree. You don't hammer down a 12 pk and go riding. Even in my drinking days I wasn't that stupid. There was a time on my sled once though.........:roflao:well it wasn't a 12 pk but it wasn't good either:hp:
 

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I hear ya, I came out of the bar once started my sled put it in reverse then staddled the seat with my feet still on the ground, well, I slipped my a** landed on the seat my feet still on the ground and my arms on my sides and I fell forward and my shoulder layed against the throttle, let me tell ya I came outta that parking spot with the throttle pinned, my legs dragging my arms at my side and my face against the instrument cluster haulin some a** luckily there was no one behind me, it's hard to get off the throttle with all the pressure but somehow I did, I laughed so hard I almost peed myself:roflao:
 

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I am afraid those of us who were raised to accept responsibility are a dyng breed:cry:We can only hope our children do not succumb to the peer pressures of today's "it's not my fault society":puke:
 

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Amen to that coconut. That's just like trying to sue Mcdonalds because you weigh 400 pounds.
 

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Some of you are old enough to remember the warning symbol on any container that held any kind of toxic substance was a simple skull and crossbones,nuff said,I'm still here.Today they gotta friggin encyclopedia of warnings on stuff and idiots still hurt their selves and blame someone else!:pod:
 

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I may be years too late to post on here, but most of you guys are rude, ruthless, and idiots. I’m sorry but for you guys to criticize someone for doing something when YOU’RE NOT PERFECT yourselves says A WHOLE lot about your character. I can guarantee NOT ONE of you people who said something are perfect and never made a mistake in your entire life. I was there when this accident happened, my mother was riding with him, he is my uncle and he was an honest, good hearted guy, who yes may have been drinking but that wasn’t the issue ... the fact that this three wheeler tipped the way it did by hitting a SAND pile when he literally was only going 20mph, says a whole lot more than him having alcohol in his system. He almost lost his life that day, and that day I almost lost my uncle. That day changed our lives forever, he had to have countless surgeries, he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t use his hands, he had to have someone bathe him... and it was all for a mistake not of his own but the manufacturer of this bike. Next time you guys go and criticize someone, make sure your hands are perfectly clean. Sorry, not sorry.
Drinking wasn't the issue?

He was drinking, he was impaired, no matter how little or how much!

My uncle was a paraplegic from age 19 or so. Drinking and driving. HE WAS IN THE WRONG. No one else to blame.

I know it's a personal subject for you. But step back and look at it.

Your first post, so I'm being nice!
 

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I may be years too late to post on here, but most of you guys are rude, ruthless, and idiots. I’m sorry but for you guys to criticize someone for doing something when YOU’RE NOT PERFECT yourselves says A WHOLE lot about your character. I can guarantee NOT ONE of you people who said something are perfect and never made a mistake in your entire life. I was there when this accident happened, my mother was riding with him, he is my uncle and he was an honest, good hearted guy, who yes may have been drinking but that wasn’t the issue ... the fact that this three wheeler tipped the way it did by hitting a SAND pile when he literally was only going 20mph, says a whole lot more than him having alcohol in his system. He almost lost his life that day, and that day I almost lost my uncle. That day changed our lives forever, he had to have countless surgeries, he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t use his hands, he had to have someone bathe him... and it was all for a mistake not of his own but the manufacturer of this bike. Next time you guys go and criticize someone, make sure your hands are perfectly clean. Sorry, not sorry.
Drinking wasn't the issue?

He was drinking, he was impaired, no matter how little or how much!

My uncle was a paraplegic from age 19 or so. Drinking and driving. HE WAS IN THE WRONG. No one else to blame.

I know it's a personal subject for you. But step back and look at it.

Your first post, so I'm being nice!

I have stepped back and looked at it, several times actually. I’m not saying alcohol doesn’t impair your judgement because it definitely does. But the whole point that I was trying to get at is that the 3wheeler wasn’t built correctly so by him hitting the tiny sand pile, it caused his back tire to lift up, caused him to lose control, and he fell down the embankment and broke his neck. All I’m saying is that in this situation it’s not *all* his fault. Mistakes happen, people do dumb things, but three wheelers are dangerous nonetheless and back when this happened there were over 700 deaths from them.

Yes, I took it too personally so I’m sorry. I just get upset when people believe everything that they read and don’t know the whole story. This is my last post. I just want to remind everyone that before they can pass judgement on someone else, they should look at the situation as a whole and make sure their own hands are perfectly clean.

I mean, if you’re going to sue over getting hot coffee spilt on you, or your foot stuck in a door that you opened, then by all means you deserve to be criticized. But sometimes suing is necessary to make sure the manufacturers or people in charge understand how their products are affecting the lives of others.
I cant believe you think suing the manufacturer was right you definitely cant put the blame where it is your uncle was at fault period no one else to blame!!!! He was driving he was impaired & no helmet. Its sad he was injured but you have to own it, that's the problem no ones wants to ever take the blame for there actions lets sue because im a IDIOT !!!!
 
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