Hunter sues after fall from tree stand

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jan. 7, 2008, 9:00am

Tree stand

MARSHALL – While hunting in a tree stand on Oct. 9, 2007, Gary Fannon fell from the tree, sustaining injuries that left him a paraplegic. Fannon claims the strap securing the stand failed.

Fannon, his wife Kara and his two young children filed a product liability suit against the strap's manufacturer Ancra International on Jan. 3 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The lawsuit states the defendant is liable for Fannon's injuries due to the strap's defective design and that there were safer alternative designs that could have prevented or at least reduced the risk of Fannon's fall from the tree.

Fannon argues Ancra International is negligent for failure to use safer alternative designs, failure to implement adequate quality control guidelines, failure to adequately test the securing strap to ensure it was safe, and for designing and marketing a product that was "dangerously inadequate for use in tree stands."

The Fannons are seeking more than $75,000 in damages for permanent and disabling injuries, medical care, past and future physical pain, mental anguish, lost wages and lost earning capacity, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of household services, loss of consortium, and loss of parental consortium.

Houston attorneys J. Hunter Craft and Mikal C. Watts of the Watts Law Firm, L.L.P. and Marshall attorneys Carl R. Roth, Michael Smith, and Brendan C. Roth of the Roth Law Firm are representing the plaintiffs.

Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:08cv003

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