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Jonathan Rosenfeld
J.D

March 2, 2023

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hunting-tree-stand-accident-lawsuit

For hunters to get an elevated position, tree stands are necessary to better view their prey. However, the safety risks associated with tree stands are numerous and varied. Besides the serious risk of falling, there’s also the chance that a stand could break away and collapse.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for hunters injured in an accident involving a hunting stand manufacturing defect.

Our defective tree stand law team fights aggressively on behalf of our clients to seek compensation and justice. Call a product liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.

Defective Tree Stand

Hunters may suffer severe injuries and fatalities from defective tree stand accidents. These accidents can include:

  • Quality of Tree Stand or Hunting Equipment:

A top-quality stand might be sturdy and unyielding, while a lesser-quality one could collapse under the slightest pressure.

  • Manufacturing Defects:

When tree stand manufacturers neglect to add vital components to the make of a product, such as rope used for standing platforms, and should be added to climbing stands, this can result in an accident that causes serious injury or death.

  • Omissions in Cable Assembly Instructions:

When purchasing new hunting equipment, hunters must read and understand all safety instructions provided with their purchase, including explaining proper use, maintenance, inspection before each use, and the full range of potential hazards.

If you are injured in a hunting stand accident due to defective equipment, consult an experienced hunting equipment attorney who will explain the various legal options available.

Tree Stands & Harnesses Save Lives

Many hunters could avoid serious injury or death if they wore personal safety harnesses while using a climbing, hang-on, or lock-on steps standing platform for hunting.

Any hunter who climbs into a tree stand must wear a personal safety harness [1]. Unfortunately, even if hunters exercise extreme caution while ascending and descending, accidents happen, and systems fail.

According to the Tree Stand Safety Institute:

  • Harnasses help to prevent approximately 70 percent of severe fall injuries of tree stand falls.
  • Approximately 86 percent of all hunting fatalities due to falls from tree stands could have been prevented using a harness.

Fatalities & Injuries in Tree Stand Accidents

Every year over 1,000 US hunters suffer serious injuries from hunting accidents due to a defective tree stand (Institute for Research in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, University of Tennessee).

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) [2] estimates that, on average, over 300 hunting-related fatalities and more than 18,000 hospitalizations occur annually in the United States due to falls from tree stands while hunting; most fatalities occur while hunting deer (National Shooting Sports Foundation).

In the same study, over 90 percent of falls from tree stands occurred when no one was available to help or witness what happened (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).

  • Sixty-five percent of falls from tree stands most commonly occur while descending from or ascending to a standing foot platform (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).
  • Forty-two percent of all hunters die from falling out of trees during deer hunting season.
  • Over half of all hunting fatalities resulting from falls out of tree stands occur on the first day any person is hunting during deer hunting season (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).

Hunting Stand Accidents Involving the Collapse Of A Tree Stand

The collapse of a tree stand is a severe fall hazard and results in injury or death to hunters yearly. Most accidents occur while a hunter ascends or descends from a broken tree.

Injured hunters might alter their lives drastically after a tree stand collapses due to broken bones, head injuries, or paralysis. Unfortunately, in some cases, fatal injuries are sustained as well.

A faulty stand might have sharp edges that can cut a hunter, possibly posing a fall hazard, or the tree stand frame could be weak due to a defect in manufacturing.

Tree Stand Defect Litigation

Hunting and deer stands are supposed to give hunters a tactical advantage and improve their hunting experience. Still, they have become a more dangerous and severe risk than the hazard of accidental gunshot wounds in recent history.

Falls from defective tree stands or injuries caused by protective harnesses can result in the need for costly medical care. Some injury victims’ lives are changed forever due to their accidents.

Recalled Defective Tree Stands

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), tree stands have had several recalls since 2009.

The following tree stand manufacturers and models of tree stands have been recalled:

  • Helios Tree Stand: 2,000 – Sold at Dunham’s Sports and Gander Mountain. The metal joints on the stand pose a risk if hunters put their weight on it and it breaks during use. The grating on the chains and feet could also fail when weight was applied.
  • Big Game Tree Stand: 12,200 – Made by Global Manufacturing and sold at Rogers Sporting Goods and Dicks Sporting Goods and Sportsman’s Guide stores nationwide. Cable assemblies on the stand released, posing a fall hazard. Global Manufacturing manufactured the cable assembly products.
  • Field and Stream Store Timberline Hang: 2,600 – Sold nationwide at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Weld-on seats broke and caused seats to fall. CPSC issued a voluntary recall for the Stream Timberline Hang.
  • Summit Big Game Treestands Company: 12,000+ – Sold at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s retailers. They posed a fall hazard to hunters, who could fall when climbing up or down a tree stand because the steps of the big game treestands were not sturdy enough to hold their weight.
  • Cabela’s Aluminum Climbing Tree Stand: 5,000+. These stands failed to hold the weight of hunters, posing a fall hazard. The spring-loaded latches (cable locking mechanism) that attached the stand to the tree were defective and kept opening, allowing hunters to fall while ascending or descending from their stand.
  • Millennium Outdoor: [3] 12,200 – Sold through MidwayUSA, B&H Farm Supply, Farris Brothers, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and Gander Mountain. The seat could bend at a downward angle, posing a falling hazard.

Other falling hazard recalls include Silent Adrenaline (treestands with a metal plate riveted and with batch number located on the rivet ending in 17 are included), Alliance Outdoor X-stand treestands, Apache Climbing Tree Stands, and Ameristep Hyde Cliff Hanger from Primal Vantage. The Primal Vantage recall was in January 2015 with 1000 products.

Manufacturers must warn consumers of the risks of using an unreasonably dangerous product. Manufacturers are also responsible for taking due care of the consumer’s safety, whether it be improved cable assembly or safer seating.

Contact our office for a free case review or more information on recalled defective tree stands.

Cabela’s Tree Stand Defects – $12 Million Settlement

According to USA Today, Cabela’s [4] (operated by Bass Pro Shop) had recently amassed thousands of injury claims due to sharp edges on the crossbow that held the hunter’s feet when seated.

However, the jury found Cabela was at fault, and Cabela was held accountable. Over the past decade, over $12 million have been paid out in settlements to people harmed by defectively designed tree stands sold at their sporting goods stores nationwide.

The jury award after a company manufactured a defective product in a liability case can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Broken Bones and Other Injuries In A Tree Stand Accident

Some of the injuries that can result from the use of defective hunting gear in a tree stand accident include the following:

  • Fractures and shattered bones:

Compound fractures can be more challenging to treat correctly and require surgical procedures to align the bones with healing.

  • Internal bleeding and damage:

A fall from a significant height can result in internal injuries that are not always immediately apparent. Broken ribs, a collapsed lung, or damage to internal organs are some examples.

  • Injuries resulting from constriction or restraint:

There are instances in which belts over-tighten and safety harness failing has resulted in painful injuries when the user fell.

  • Traumatic brain injuries:

Following a blow to the head during a fall: As more is known about TBIs, it is more important than ever to have yourself tested if you have suffered head injuries.

  • Injuries to the neck or back:

Resulting in severely breaking the neck or back and partial, temporary, or permanent paralysis from the location of the damage. Receiving the news that you will never walk again can cause emotional distress, and the cost of caring for someone paralyzed is well into millions of dollars over a lifetime.

  • Wrongful death:

Trauma centers keep records of severe injury cases and where victims suffer fatal injuries in big game tree accidents. They are vital when presenting evidence in deer stand accident cases.

Contact our law firm to assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve.

Hiring a Hunting Stand Defect Lawyer Who Resolves Compensation Cases

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC specializes in personal injury and product liability matters and has recovered compensation for thousands of injured clients throughout the state. We are here to assist you with your product liability case.

Call a personal injury lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice. Our legal team offers a free consultation and case evaluation to review your legal options.

Our law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you will only pay for our legal services after successfully resolving your legal issue through a jury trial or negotiated settlement.

Resources: [1] Wisconsin State Farmer, [2] CPSC, [3] CPSC, [4] WTSP

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