Our client Amy Owens was 25 when she was injured in a dune buggy fire whilst on a desert safari excursion in Dubai.
Amy recently told her story to the Daily Express, where she spoke of the ongoing pain and suffering she experiences. In the article, she talks about her life beyond injury, notably the milestone of her dream winter wedding with long term boyfriend, Mark.
Woman burned in dune buggy fire sues maker
A British woman is suing a US firm for horrific burns she sustained 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, sustained 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 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.”
Amy added: “Day to day is a challenge but I’m not letting it stop me. I married my boyfriend of 11 years, Mark, in a beautiful winter wedding, and we bought our first home together.”
The full article, which featured in the Daily Express in print on 7 October 2020, can be viewed here.
Life beyond injury
We have teamed up with other clients who have catastrophic injuries to tell their stories of Life Beyond Injury. Please visit the Life Beyond Injury webpages here.
We hope that by sharing these stories, newly injured people can see that with the right support they too can overcome adversity to lead full and active lives.
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our International Injury pages.
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