Woman burned in dune buggy fire sues maker
A BRITISH woman is suing a US firm for horrific burns she suffered in a dune buggy fire on holiday.
Amy Owens could be in line for a multi- million pound payout after an American judge ruled her case against the vehicle’s manufacturer could go ahead.
Amy, 28, and a friend were on a guide- led tour of the sand dunes during a desert safari in Dubai in 2017.
At the top of a steep peak their buggy tipped and rolled down, before coming to a halt and catching fire.
The friends could not immediately release their seatbelts and both were badly hurt.
Amy, a water firm planner from Chelmsford, Essex, suffered burns to over half of her body.
She said: “What should have been a dream holiday has become a nightmare, and one I can’t escape.
“As well as the injuries themselves, the trauma of the incident, the surgery and being bed- bound for months on end has changed my life in every single way.
“I still suffer extreme fatigue and anxiety and require laser surgery to improve the flexibility of my skin grafts. I have broken sleep. I usually wake up in pain, uncomfortable, over- heated or all three.”
In July last year she started legal
proceedings against buggy maker Polaris Industries in its home state of Minnesota.
Her legal team alleged various defects in the design and manufacture of the buggy, including an unsafe seatbelt release system, and a faulty fuel line.
Polaris questioned the power of US courts to hear the claim as the accident happened in the Middle East.
However, the judge recognised an attempt to avoid accountability as any UAE court would have no jurisdiction – and ruled that Amy can sue Polaris.
The firm has already had to pay more than a million dollars damages in other awards after its vehicles have rolled over and caught fire.
Eleven more lawsuits are pending.
Polaris said: “We are deeply saddened by the accidents that occurred and send condolences to those impacted.
“The safety of our riders has always been our top priority.”
“Day to day is a challenge but I’m not letting it stop me. I married my boyfriend of
Mark, in a beautiful winter wedding, and we bought our first home together.”