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Defective Yamaha Rhino Lawsuit Filed

Defective Yamaha Rhino Side by Side ''Had Devastating Impact'' on Life, Californian Charges in Personal Injury Lawsuit

SANTA ANA, Calif. (Business Wire EON/PRWEB ) August 15, 2008 -- Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announced that Scott Smith, age 42, from Twain Harte, California, filed a personal injury lawsuit against Yamaha Motor Corporation in California Superior Court in Orange County. The lawsuit charges that the Yamaha Rhino side-by-side is a dangerously unstable and defective all terrain vehicle "ATV").

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On August 20, 2006, Smith was a passenger in a 2006 Yamaha Rhino that tipped over at a low rate of speed. Smith suffered severe injuries to his right leg, and was left permanently impaired.

"The Rhino incident has had a devastating impact on my life," stated Scott Smith. "My right leg was crushed by the Rhino's roll bar. The pain has been unbearable. For over a year I was confined to bed while having to undergo seven surgeries. I will never again be able to hike, ski or participate in other outdoor activities that I enjoyed."

The complaint alleges that the Yamaha Rhino side-by-side contains multiple design flaws rendering it dangerously unstable and unduly prone to tipping and rolling over. These defects include a top-heavy design resulting in a high center of gravity, and a dangerously narrow track width. "The design flaws make the Rhino dangerously susceptible to tipping and rolling, even when being driven at slow speeds," stated Robert J. Nelson, a partner at Lieff Cabraser, which represents Smith.

"I hope that my lawsuit sends Yamaha a clear message that it must recall the Rhino and fix its stability flaws before more riders are severely injured or worse, killed," Smith added.

Despite hundreds of Rhino rollover accidents, there has been no formal recall of the vehicle by Yamaha. Instead, in August 2007, Yamaha announced that free of charge it would install half doors and a passenger handhold for Rhinos manufactured from 2004 through 2007. For the 2008 Rhino, Yamaha has added the half doors and a handhold as standard equipment.

The complaint charges that Yamaha has made no design changes to improve the stability or handling of the Yamaha Rhino, in spite of the availability of safe and inexpensive alternative designs and feasible modifications. "While its retrofit program was a step in the right direction, Yamaha has neither acknowledged nor addressed the Rhino's core stability problems," stated Nelson. "The tip overs and terrible accidents will continue to occur so long as the stability problems are not fixed."

About Plaintiffs' Counsel

Described by The American Lawyer as "one of the nation's premiere plaintiffs firms," Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, enjoys a national reputation for professional integrity and the efficient and responsible prosecution of our clients' claims. From its offices in San Francisco, New York and Nashville, Lieff Cabraser represents over 100 persons across America seriously injured in Rhino accidents.

Persons injured in Yamaha Rhino accidents should visit, a website operated by Lieff Cabraser, to learn more about the dangers posed by the Yamaha Rhino, get answers to frequently asked questions, and read a guide to their legal Lieff Cabraser personal injury lawyers will promptly review each case submitted without charge or obligation.

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