Safety concerns have been on the forefront of people’s minds after a recent spate of golf cart accidents. This has hit home for a major golf cart manufacturer, E-Z-Go who are owned by Textron, who are now involved in two separate lawsuits relating to accidents that have resulted in serious injuries or death.
A legal case was filed against them in the U.S. from the clients of lawyer Richard Burke, that claims that the E-Z-Go RXV has issues with the design of its accelerator pedal.
Burke said, "It allows debris and gravel, stones, sands, the type of things that are present on golf courses, to fall around and immediately beneath the accelerator pedal."
Burke alleges in the suit that debris can interfere with the braking mechanism or may cause the RXV to accelerate unexpectedly, which has lead to two cases of fatalities where the RXV was being driven. The most recent accidents involved a CEO from Edmonton, Glenn Thordarson and in another incident a man from Illinois was ran over by an out of control RXV.
The second case, which is currently being heard in a New Hampshire court, involved a Vermont man who suffered a serious brain injury when he was thrown from a swerving golf cart at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2006. Roderick Jenks, of Wilder Vt., was riding in the back of the cart where the bags are normally stowed.
Jenks' lawyer told jurors that Textron, E-Z-Go's parent company, should be liable for not warning people that they should not ride on the cart where the bags are normally secured. Textron's lawyer argued that Jenks should have known better that to stand on a moving vehicle, as he drove for a living as a school bus driver.
The accident occurred during a race weekend where Jenks was one of 1,500 volunteers raising money for charity when the E-Z-Go golf cart he was standing on swerved sharply, sending him to the pavement.
As golf cart usage increases, particularly away from the golf course, we can forsee the authorities legislating that insurance is required for golf carts and that fitted seat belts and other safety devices are mandatory. Of course nothing can be done to counteract the lack of common sense.