AGCO Sued Over Tractor Fire

Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, as a subrogee of Michael Sly a farmer it contracts with to provide insurance, claimed in a complaint filed against AGCO Corporation on Friday that the defendant is at fault for property damage due to a tractor it manufactured catching fire and should pay for damages. 

The complaint was filed in the Iowa Northern District Court because, as the plaintiff cited, the amount in controversy is over $75,000 and the plaintiff and the defendant are from two different states, but the events occurred in Iowa. 

The tractor, a 2017 Fendt 933VS4 Tractor, was reportedly leased by Sly and used on his farm near Correctionville, Iowa.  Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance explained that under the terms of its insurance policy it paid a significant amount to Sly for damages after the tractor caught fire, the damage occurred both to the farm and to the tractor. 

Four counts were filed against AGCO Corporation, including Negligence, Breach of Warranty, Strict Liability, and Failure to Warn. The plaintiff purported that the fire would not have happened if the manufacturer had not negligently designed, constructed, or assembled the tractor. 

Nationwide Agribusiness further purported that the defendant breached their implied warranties of the fitness and merchantability of the tractor, which was a cause of the fire as Sly believed the machine to be safe.  The insurance company argued that AGCO should be held strictly liable for the damages because the tractor was defective but the company did not warn Sly about the defects. The complaint also claimed that the defendant either knew or should have known about the defects. 

Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance, represented by Yost & Baill, LLP, asked for a jury trial. 

AGCO has been named as a defendant in previous lawsuits alleging that its farm equipment contained issues, including one lawsuit which was moved to the Texas Northern District last week