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Wrongful death suit filed against John Deere after Alabama man is run over by tractor, killed

William DeShannon Thomas was killed last year when the John Deere tractor he was refueling unexpectedly jumped forward and ran over him.

Montgomery-based Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., is now suing the manufacturer of the John Deere 4440 tractor, on behalf of Thomas’ wife, Katherine, for wrongful death. The suit claims Deere & Company Inc. is negligent.

The lawsuit, filed July 19 in Dallas County Circuit Court, alleges the tractor was “defective and unreasonably dangerous by design.” The tractor wasn’t designed and guarded to prevent starting the tractor at the solenoid switch, according to the suit.

Thomas, 40 of Dallas County, was using the tractor as part of his job at McCormick Aviation in Tyler when the fatal incident occurred on Aug. 13, 2015.

The law firm said it consulted experts who indicated the tractor fails to provide adequate warnings about the inherent risk of injury or death in ordinary operating conditions, and that it was not adequately tested to determine if it was safe for the consuming public

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