UTV Testing by ATA Associates Moves Case to Successful Settlement

A 13-year-old boy’s hand was traumatically amputated in a roll-over incident involving a youth model utility task vehicle (UTV). In connection with litigation following that incident, ATA Associates, Inc., a forensic engineering and testing firm in Houston, Texas, was tasked with planning, performing and documenting performance and stability testing of an exemplar UTV of the same make and model. With the support of ATA’s analytical and demonstrative work products, S. Scott West of The West Law Firm in Sugar Land, Texas, recently negotiated a substantial personal injury settlement in a product liability case against a major U.S. power-sport vehicle manufacturer which developed and marketed the subject UTV specifically for use by children and youths.
Documents secured by West in the case and deposition testimony extracted from the manufacturer’s engineers and representatives revealed that the youth model was the only side-by-side UTV sold by company whose design and construction had been largely outsourced to a firm in Taiwan. The company’s tacit assumption had been that, because a comparable full-sized UTV model had passed its internal testing, a scaled-down version could be expected to perform appropriately without requiring qualification testing. According to West, the time and technology invested by ATA in its hours of dynamic testing of the exemplar UTV far exceeded a mere 64 seconds of recorded dynamic testing performed by the manufacturer before the UTV model was brought to market and released to children and their parents.
ATA’s testing of the UTV in this case was typical of its many tests of automobiles, SUVs, trucks, buses, motorcycles and boats of all kinds over the past 48 years.
Source: The West Law Firm