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Kinda hard to believe this issue had to go to our state supreme court, but here it is:

Fun doesn't count . . . legally
A tractor is just for work, Vermont Supreme Court rules
October 11, 2004

By Alan J. Keays Rutland Herald

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled that a John Deere lawn and garden tractor is made for work, not recreation, no matter how fun it might be to ride.

The decision was handed down in a case involving a dispute between an insurance company and the driver of a lawn tractor who injured his son while using his son's lawn tractor to plow snow at his son's home in Rutland Town.

The insurance company's policy covered injuries sustained in a recreational vehicle accident, not a work-related vehicle.

The state's highest court sided with the insurance company's decision to deny coverage for the accident, ruling that the lawn tractor was a work vehicle.

"The John Deere lawn and garden tractor's manual and physical characteristics unequivocally demonstrate that the tractor and its numerous attachments were designed, as one would assume, to accomplish a wide range of landscaping, plowing, gardening, and lawn work," the Vermont Supreme Court ruled.

The ruling was posted late last week on the Vermont Judiciary Web site.

The case was decided by a three-member panel of the state' high court, including Associate Justices Denise Johnson and Marilyn Skoglund, as well as retired Chief Justice Frederic Allen, specifically assigned to the case

According to court records, on Jan. 10, 2003 Harry Delong accidentally injured his son, Arnold Delong, while operating his son's tractor to clear snow at his son's residence in Rutland Town.

Harry Delong sought coverage under the homeowner's policy for the injuries. The decision does not state the extent of the injuries, and Delong could not be reached for comment.

Concord General Mutual Insurance Co. denied coverage, and asked Rutland Superior Court Judge Richard Norton to decide the issue of whether coverage existed under the policy.

The policy excluded coverage for injuries arising from the ownership, maintenance or use of motorized vehicles, court records stated.

However, the policy had an exception that allowed for coverage for injuries caused by "a motorized land conveyance designed for recreational use off public roads."

The parties agreed that the main issue of dispute was whether the lawn tractor Delong was driving is considered a motor vehicle designed for recreational use.

Norton ruled in favor of Concord General, concluding that the tractor was designed for work, not recreation.

Delong appealed to Vermont Supreme Court.

According to court records, he pointed to the owner's manual billing the tractor as "a perfect choice for the yard care enthusiast" encouraging the owner to " sit back and relax" in a comfortable, high-back seat made for an easy ride, and featuring the availability of an umbrella to allow the owner to ride in the shade.

"Noting that the policy language does not state that the tractor must be designed only for recreational use, Delong argues that although the tractor plainly could be used for work, the tractor was also designed, and can be used, for recreational purposes," court records stated. "According to Delong, many individuals may use a tractor like the one in question as a way to unwind after a hard day at the office."

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled it found no merits to that argument.

"The manual's offer of comforts and conveniences 'to make sure the tractor works hard so that you don't have to' does not suggest that the tractor was designed for recreation," the decision read. "Nor does the fact that some owners may actually enjoy riding their tractor suggest that the tractor was designed for recreation.

"Many people may enjoy work, but that does not transform the work into recreation, which is commonly understood to be a pastime or diversion that affords pleasure," the ruling stated. "Moreover, the John Deere Lawn and Garden tractor was plainly not designed for recreational purposes."
 

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I agree, that should have been knocked down at the lower levels, oh well it gives those in the supreme position some thing to do to make themselves feel useful:furious:
 

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:ditto:
I completely agree with this decision. I am constantly having
to tell my wife the same thing. ”It may look like I’m having
fun, but it’s really hard work”
:lmao:
 

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Originally posted by aegt5000
:ditto:
I completely agree with this decision. I am constantly having
to tell my wife the same thing. ”It may look like I’m having
fun, but it’s really hard work”
:lmao:
Duh, No kidding. My wife knows I work hard and make my tractors work hard. I enjoy the satifaction of doing things that most people would hire someone else to do. If it ain't work, What the heck was tearing down the old log barn, and putting in the french drain And then smoothing out the site. That was real work. Satsifying work but work none the less. These dumba$$ that do not use the tractor for its intended purpose are plain looney to me. I have never allowed my son (under the age of 10) or the grandkids) near my equipment until they were old enough to understand the dangers of it.
 

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Would lawn tractor racing not be considered a recreational activity? Or is it that those tractors are so modified, they could not be used in the argument?

SnowMower
 
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