Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Iditarod Champion Sues Knife Company

Former Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey is suing Kershaw Knives of Oregon and Sportsman's Warehouse, where he purchased the blade for using a knife made by Kershaw with which Seavey nearly sliced off his index finger.  Seavey was using a knife with a locking blade that has a gut hook mushers frequently use to slice a plastic tie that secures straw bales. The bales are used for the dogs to sleep on.  The suit contends that a lever or button near the middle of the handle can be depressed while the knife is being used, potentially allowing the blade to close on a user’s fingers.  Kershaw Knives is owned by KAI USA Ltd., the Oregon-based subsidiary of a Japanese company that also makes Shun Cutlery blades and Zero Tolerance "tactical" knives.  Altho no article I found mentions the model of the knive it was perhaps Kershaw's Alaskian Blade Trader http://www.kershawknives.com/productdetails.php?id=19&brand=kershaw

The incident happened in Ophir during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The damage done to Mitch's right hand left him so debilitated that race marshall Mark Nordman ordered Seavey withdrawn from the race. The digit was later reattached by doctors.

At the time of the incident, Seavey was in fourth place behind four-time champion Martin Buser

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court demands $100,000 in lost wages and other damages. The Iditarod champion wins a check for $50,400 and a new Dodge truck for finishing first. Typically, numerous promotional opportunities also become available.
 
Fairbanks lawyer John Tiemessen, representing Sportsman’s Warehouse, told the Daily News: “Mr. Seavey bears the burden of proving all of his damages, including his claim that but for cutting his finger, he would have won the Iditarod. As Mr. Seavey probably knows better than most, there is a wide gulf between hoping you will win, even thinking you might win, and actually winning the race.”

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