Fatal tractor accident leads to lawsuit

By Lawrence Smith | Nov 11, 2013


RIPLEY - A lawsuit alleges an act of benevolence turned fatal for a Jackson County man.

Mark, Sherry and Logan Gorman are named as co-defendants in a wrongful death suit filed by Rodney Hoschar, administrator of the estate of his brother Brian Keith Hoschar.

In his complaint filed Sept. 10 in Jackson Circuit Court, Hoschar alleges the Gormans contributed to Brian’s death when they asked him to operate a tractor despite his inability to operate a motorized vehicle.

According the suit, Brian was considered a “low-functioning adult” and received Supplemental Security Insurance payments for his unspecified “mental impairments.” However, he performed various odd jobs throughout Ravenswood as a means of making additional income, the complaint says.

The Gormans regularly hired Brian to perform basic farm work to include “mowing, weed-eating and gathering debris.” On Dec. 14, the Gormans allegedly asked him to operate a tractor.

About 2:30 p.m. in the course of operating the tractor, Brian hit an incline causing it to tip over on him, the complaint says. According to his death certificate, he died minutes later. He was 28 years old.

In the suit, Rodney alleges the Gormans knew better than to have Brian operate the tractor due to his inability to perform “many common functions, such as riding a bicycle.” Because of his disability, Brian did not have a license to operate a motor vehicle.

As a result of Brian’s death, Hoschar says he’s incurred not only “conscious pain and suffering,” but also “medical expenses, funeral expenses and other damages.” Along with wrongful death, his suit makes claims against the Gormans for negligence and negligent entrustment.

Hoschar seeks unspecified damages, interest, attorneys fees and court costs. He and the estate are represented by Parkersburg attorney George J. Cosenza.

The case is assigned to Judge Thomas C. Evans III.

Jackson Circuit Court case number 13-C-104

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