Pennsylvania Record

Friday, July 19, 2019

John Deere says Beyer man misused tractor that allegedly overturned on him

By David Hutton | Aug 16, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The manufacturer of John Deere tractors has filed its response to a lawsuit filed in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas alleging negligence in a rollover accident that injured the Beyer owner of a Deere tractor, raising several new issues it claims deflate the allegations.

According to an answer filed July 27, Deere & Co. maintains that Leonard and Tammy Kuffa have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Kuffas filed their lawsuit June 7.

Leonard Kuffa was allegedly injured on June 12, 2015, when the John Deere tractor he was operating malfunctioned. He was injured when the tractor overturned, pinning him underneath it, he says.

According to the Kuffas’ initial complaint, the tractor malfunctioned as a result of a defect within the replacement transaxle. It allegedly began to roll backward down a slope without braking ability, leading to the accident.

In its response, Deere claims that the Kuffas failed to file their complaint in a timely manner and as a result any and all statutes of limitation and/or statutes of repose bar their claims.

Further, Deere alleges that the accident and Leonard Kuffa’s injures were the result of the “abuse, misuse and/or improper use of the subject product.”

Deere also alleges that the claims are invalid because of the Kuffas’ own negligence and voluntary assumption of risk.

The company also claims that the claims also are invalidated to the extent of which the tractor was changed, altered, or modified in a condition substantially different than when it was sold.

Moreover, Deere also has reserved the right to raise additional new matter or affirmative defenses as discovery, fact finding and the complaint moves forward and more information becomes available for Deere to defend the allegations.

In the original complaint alleging liability and negligence, the Kuffas are seeking “a sum in excess of $35,000.” They are seeking a jury trial.

Deere & Co. is seeking judgment in its favor along with costs. The company is represented by Pittsburgh-based Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote P.C.

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Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County