Millions in damages awarded in Polaris suit

KALKASKA, Mich. – A Kalkaska County jury has awarded Williard Long and his wife $3.4 million in damages for injuries suffered in 2003 when the hood of his one-month-old Polaris 2000 SLX broke loose from the craft while under way, hitting his head and face, reported the Traverse City Record-Eagle in an article Sunday.

After 11 days in the hospital being treated for several broken bones, nerve damage and a closed head injury, Long came home to find a recall notice in his mailbox. His attorney told the newspaper that the watercraft’s design was defective and that the company was slow to address the problem.

The judgment was filed against Polaris Sales Inc. of Minneapolis. Polaris no longer manufactures personal watercraft.

“The money end of it could never make up for what happened,” Long told the newspaper. “If [Polaris] would’ve taken this product offer the market when they knew there was a problem, this wouldn’t have happened.”

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