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Cabela Store Sued Over Crossbow User's Severed Thumb

By Andrew Chow, Esq. | Last updated on

A Cabela's lawsuit over a crossbow user's severed thumb blames the outdoor retailer and the bow's manufacturer for causing the man's injury.

Cyril B. Korte of Madison County, Wis., seeks at least $75,000 to cover medical costs, his physical impairment, and pain and suffering, Madison's legal newspaper The Record reports.

Korte bought a crossbow from a Cabela's store in Missouri in 2009, after employees told him it was "the best and safest crossbow," his lawsuit alleges. But he claims a hunting accident proved otherwise.

Cyril B. Korte lost his thumb when he used his Tenpoint Phantom CLS crossbow to hunt deer in November 2011, his Cabela's lawsuit claims.

When Korte fired the crossbow, the bow string unexpectedly hit his thumb and severed it, the suit states. Doctors could not reattach it.

The crossbow came with a safety device called GripSafety, but it failed to prevent the amputation, Korte complains. The bow should also have come with a grip guard, he alleges.

Korte's lawsuit names Cabela's and Hunter's Manufacturing Company, doing business as Tenpoint Crossbow Technologies, The Record reports.

In general, product liability lawsuits like Korte's must identify some sort of defect. The alleged lack of a grip guard could point to a design defect (alleging a flaw in the product's design that makes it unreasonably dangerous) or perhaps a manufacturing defect (alleging Korte's particular crossbow was defective). The Cabela's workers' alleged representation of the crossbow as "the best and safest" may give rise to an alleged marketing defect.

In their defense, Cabela's and the manufacturer may try to assert user error or negligence. We'll just have to wait and see.

Another issue for Cyril B. Korte's products liability lawyer is where the Cabela's lawsuit will be heard. The severed thumb suit was filed in Wisconsin, but Cabela's lawyers got the case moved to federal court in East St. Louis, Ill., The Record reports. In general, federal courts have jurisdiction when a case involves people or entities in different states; Cabela's is based in Nebraska, while the manufacturer is incorporated in Nevada and does most of its business in Ohio.

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