Michigan Jury Awards $650K to Teen Hurt in Accident

January 18, 2013

A Leelanau County, Mich., jury has awarded $650,000 to a teenager whose leg was crushed in a cherry orchard accident two summers ago.

Colton Brooks was 17 when he lost control of the cherry catcher he was operating on July 21, 2011, in a grove operated by Stanton Orchards.

The 4,000-pound machine slammed into a tree and badly damaged Brooks’ left leg.

Brooks sued the orchard’s operators, and the Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that this week he won one of the largest jury awards in the county’s history.

Brooks’ lawyer, R. Jay Hardin, says his client had limited experience on the machine and a brake malfunctioned.

Stanton Orchards operator Todd Stanton declined comment.

The jury award is intended to cover medical expenses already incurred as well as future medical expenses.

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