Stuart Herbst V. Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corporation

  • Court: United States District Court, Texas Southern (Galveston)
  • Case number: 3:21cv44
  • Filed: March 02, 2021
  • Judge: Judge Jeffrey V Brown
  • Case type: Personal Injury (360)
  • Cause: Diversity-Personal Injury

Parties Involved

Verdict Information

  • Verdict date: May 16, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to Plaintiff: $0.00

About the Case


On June 10, 2019, Plaintiff Stuart Herbst, employed by Noble Building & Development LLC (“Noble”), was overseeing a job site on Valdera St., Angleton, TX. At the site, a Noble employee operated a John Deere Company excavator rented from H&E Equipment Services, Inc. (“H&E”) which lacked a swing alarm. While Stuart Herbst was near the excavator, he was unexpectedly struck by its counterweight during a turn. Due to the absence of a swing alarm, he was unaware of the excavator’s movement, resulting in severe injuries.

Stuart Herbst filed negligence claims against Defendants  John Deere Company and H&E, asserting they failed to exercise reasonable care in designing, manufacturing, testing, labeling, and distributing the excavator. Specifically, they did not incorporate a swing alarm, warn users like Noble and its employees about safe operation, or prevent foreseeable injury. By providing the excavator, the Defendants created an unsafe environment and neglected their duty to protect Stuart Herbst.

In addition, Stuart Herbst pursued strict product liability claims, contending that John Deere Company and H&E were responsible for ensuring the excavator’s safety in its intended use. They marketed and sold the excavator with known defects, including the lack of a swing alarm, which rendered it unreasonably dangerous. Despite knowing these risks, Defendants failed to adequately warn consumers or instruct on safe operation, leading directly to Stuart Herbst’s injuries.

Further, Stuart Herbst alleged the breach of implied warranty against John Deere Company and H&E, arguing that as merchant sellers, they implicitly guaranteed the excavator’s safety for its advertised and intended uses. This implied warranty induced users to purchase and operate the excavator, despite its dangerous design flaws.


As a result of Defendants’ negligence and carelessness, Plaintiff Stuart Herbst sustained a severe injury to his back which he would continue to struggle with.


Plaintiff sought damages over the court’s jurisdictional minimum, monetary relief exceeding $1,000,000, along with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and court costs. He also prayed for any other justifiable relief, including but not limited to actual damages, past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering, past and future mental anguish, past and future impairment, attorney’s fees and expenses, and punitive damages.

Jury Verdict

On May 16, 2024, the Texas jury unanimously returned a verdict in favor of Defendant Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corporation, finding no negligence on their part. Subsequently, on May 23, 2024, Judge Jeffrey V Brown entered a final judgment in favor of the Defendant, thereby dismissing the product liability lawsuit.

Court Documents:

Available upon request