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Golf Cart Brain Injury Victim Settles $5M Suit

By Andrew Chow, Esq. | Last updated on

A golf cart injury lawsuit that sought $5 million in damages from a raceway has been settled, as the brain-injured victim prepares for trial against the cart's manufacturer.

Roderick Jenks, 53, of Wilder, Vt., was doing volunteer work for charity at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2006, when he was thrown from a golf cart driven by a speedway employee, the Concord Monitor reports.

Jenks' head slammed into the pavement. The impact was so severe, he underwent brain surgery and spent months in a hospital. He now struggles with basic activities, his attorneys said.

After the injury in 2006, Roderick Jenks' wife filed a golf cart lawsuit as her husband's guardian in 2009, the Monitor reports. That's within New Hampshire's statute of limitations for personal injury civil suits, which is three years.

The lawsuit alleged the speedway failed to post speed limits for golf carts and failed to adequately train its drivers. (Jenks' driver allegedly swerved unexpectedly, throwing him from the back of the cart.) Those failures allegedly amounted to negligence, the suit claimed.

But after six hours of mediation in May, the Jenkses reached a settlement with the driver and the speedway's owners. Like many settlements, it includes a confidentiality agreement that prohibits the parties from divulging what was agreed upon.

In addition to suing the speedway and the golf cart driver, the Jenkses are also suing Textron Inc., maker of the golf cart, the Monitor reports. The suit claims Textron failed to warn users not to ride in the back of golf carts -- something the company should have known people would do, and that could cause injury, the suit asserts.

In response to the golf cart injury lawsuit, Textron says no warning was needed because riding in the back of a golf cart is an "open and obvious danger." Roderick Jenks' own negligence led to his injury, the company asserts. Trial is set to begin July 17, according to the Monitor.

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