Lawsuit Involving Injured Toddler Is Settled

By
Steve Robb - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Tue, Jul 22, 2014 10:03 am

A federal lawsuit filed after a 2-year-old boy was burned while riding a toy tractor has been settled.

The lawsuit, filed by Marlon and Heather Buckley of Setty Road, was dismissed last week.

The Buckleys’ attorney, Dale Perdue, confirmed that there has been a monetary settlement.

“The amount is confidential,” Perdue said.

The Buckleys could not be reached for comment Monday.

Wyatt Buckley was seriously injured in 2012 when the battery-operated toy tractor he was riding caught fire and he was burned. He was hospitalized for about two months and had his third birthday while still in the hospital.

Shortly after the accident, Marlon Buckley — who also sustained burns while helping his son — described for The Athens Messenger what he said occurred after the tractor caught fire while the boy was riding it in their yard.

Buckley said his son’s clothes had caught fire, and as he approached the tractor the boy ran toward him. The father used a rug to help extinguish the fire. Buckley said he and his wife had been going in and out of the house doing chores, which resulted in a rug being outside. Buckley said he kept the boy’s face to the ground so the fire would not spread to it.

Buckley told The Athens Messenger that the boy had first- and second-degree burns to more than 45 percent of his body and there were some hot spots with third-degree burns.

The lawsuit sought in excess of $75,000 in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages, against Peg Perego U.S.A. Inc. In the lawsuit, the company was identified as the manufacturer of the tractor.

The Buckleys claimed in the lawsuit that the tractor was defective in its design and manufacture, carried inadequate warnings or instructions and did not conform to the company’s representations that the toy was safe and suitable for use by young children.

It its response to the lawsuit, the company disputed those claims and denied that it was liable for the burn injuries that the Albany-area toddler suffered.

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