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ARTICLE ID 195462

– PRODUCT LIABILITY – BICYCLE RIDER SUES COMPANY AFTER PITCHING OVER – MULTIPLE FACIAL FRACTURES.

Orange County, CA

In this product liability action, a bicycle company was sued for allegedly marketing a defective product. The matter was resolved via jury after the defendant denied the accusation.

The plaintiff, Eric K., was riding his bike on Newport Beach in Vista, California. The plaintiff pitched over, allegedly after his front wheel collapsed, and suffered numerous serious injuries – including comminuted LeFort III facial fractures, and other wounds. The plaintiff now suffers from residual vision impairment, and an alleged residual cognitive deficit. The plaintiff required total reconstructive surgery of the facial bones on the right side of his face, and three additional surgeries to reposition his eye, and to correct double vision problems.

The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of California’s Orange County division for product liability, accusing Trek Bicycle Corporation of marketing a defective product. The plaintiff sought recovery of compensatory damages for his medical expenses, as well as long-term impairment and pain and suffering. The defendant denied that their product was defective in design or manufacture. The plaintiff asked the jury for $ ________ dollars for general damages

At trial, plaintiff’s counsel asserted that the 16-spoke Bontrager Race X Lite Aero front wheel purchased at a Trek Super Store in Vista, California was defective. The plaintiff claimed the front wheel of his bike collapsed during a ride in Newport Beach, a consequence of an alleged design defect. The plaintiff cited this collapse in his subsequent pitch-over and injury.

At trial, the defendant asserted the soundness of their design, as well as the thorough and rigorous in-house testing conducted by the defendant, as well as the specifications to which the wheels were built. The defendant showed a used, identical wheel ridden with one spoke removed for more than 60 miles at speeds up to 43 mph without incident. The defendant also presented physical evidence that plaintiff’s fall occurred after a foreign object lodged itself between the spoke and front fork.After 12 days of testimony and deliberation, the jury found that Trek’s product was not defective.

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