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PLANO STAR COURIER®

Family Sues/Tractor Accident                     [Return to PRESS]

By Ben Tinsley

” The family of a Parker man killed two years ago in a tractor accident has filed suit against the tractor’s manufacturers…alleging gross negligence, malice and deceptive trade practices… The lawsuit, filed roughly a week ago, requests a jury trial and seeks damages … Dallas Attorney Tom McCrory, who is representing the family in the lawsuit, has declined to specify how much money the family is seeking.” 

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McKINNEY- The family of a Parker man killed two years ago in a tractor accident has filed suit against the tractor’s manufacturers in the 219th District Court in the Collin County Courthouse alleging gross negligence, malice and deceptive trade practices.

The lawsuit stems from a fatal accident in September 1995, in which Joseph Bourgeois of Parker was operating his Yanmar YM 220 D tractor-manufactured by Yanmar and purchased from J & K Equipment sales-when it  “suddenly and without warning” flipped over, pinning him under the weight of the machinery, according to court documents.

Joseph Bourgeois’ son Brett “witnessed the incident and the futile attempts to save his dying father,” according to the lawsuit

In response, Rhonda Avary, ex-wife of Joseph Bourgeois and court-appointed legal guardian of the estates of his children, Brett Joseph Bourgeois and Timothy James Bourgeois, has filed suit against Yanmar Diesel Engine Co. Ltd., a Japanese corporation.  This blanket lawsuit also is filed against a list of related companies – basically any entity that might have played any part in the sale of the allegedly defective tractor.

The lawsuit, filed roughly a week ago, requests a jury trial and seeks damages ” in an amount in excess of the “minimum jurisdictional limits (of 219th District) court..”  Dallas attorney Tom McCrory , who is representing the family in the lawsuit, has declined to specify how much money the family is seeking.

The suit alleges that the Yanmar Company and subsidiaries defectively designed, manufactured and distributed the tractor in question, failing to equip the tractor with a rollover protective system  or any type of seat restraint device.  According to the suit, there were no adequate warnings or instructions of any type regarding the nature and extent of the dangerous conditions of the tractor.

According to the suit, the companies involved in the sale of this tractor violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act because the tractor was represented to have characteristics it did not have- such as the ability to grade the land, carry dirt, level the land or maintain an upright position on unleveled land.

“The defendants failed to disclose to (Joseph Bourgeois) that the tractor had a propensity to overturn when carrying dirt with the bucket in an extended position … the acts (of the defendants) were done knowingly as defined under the statute and were a producing cause of the Plaintiff’s damages and the death (of Joseph Bourgeois),” the lawsuit states.

Damages sought for Brett and Timothy Bourgeois are for losses of support, past and future, loss of inheritance; “mental anguish and the loss of companionship, society, affection, comfort, love and assistance which previously existed between themselves and their father … such losses will in all reasonable probably continue into the future.”

Among the list of companies named in the lawsuit is J & K Equipment Sales, a sole proprietorship  owned by Donald Anderson of Wylie. October 1, 1997

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