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Alleged defective helmet - Driver of motorcycle collides with deer and sustains head injury - Plaintiff alleges head injury was cause of death years later.

U.S. District Court, District of Montana

The plaintiff alleged that the decedent’s helmet manufactured by the defendant was defective. The plaintiff maintained that the defective helmet permitted the decedent to suffer a head injury that ultimately led to his death. The defendant contended that the decedent striking the deer was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and death.

On July 8, ________ the plaintiff and her husband were driving a BMW motorcycle on Route 78 north of Absarokee, Montana. The motorcycle collided with a deer that ran onto the road. At the time of the collision with the deer, the decedent was wearing a BMW System 1 helmet. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of the collision the motorcycle tipped over and her husband struck the right side of his head on the pavement. The plaintiff alleged that the helmet design was defective. The husband was flown by helicopter to the hospital where he was in a coma for three and one-half months. He was a resident in a nursing home for four months and then underwent an additional four months of physical therapy at a Denver Colorado hospital. He did not return home until ________. The plaintiff’s decedent died on February 8, ________, seven years after the accident. The plaintiff alleged that the helmet was defectively designed, did not protect her husband’s head and that the injuries he sustained as a result of the defective helmet were the ultimate cause of his death. The plaintiff brought suit against defendant BMW and two German companies, Schuberth Helme GmbH & Co. and Bayerishe Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft. Schuberth manufactured the helmet for BMW.

The plaintiff alleged that the helmet was defective in that it failed to protect the plaintiff’s husband from sustaining a serious head injury.

The defendant maintained that the helmet worn by the plaintiff’s decedent was not defective. Rather, the defendant asserted that the impact with the deer was the cause of the decedent’s injuries. The defendant maintained that the driver’s jaw impacted with the deer, causing the injuries that the plaintiff alleged.

The trial lasted one week. The jury deliberated one hour and twenty minutes before returning its verdict. The jury found in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff’s attorney had asked the jury for the sum of $________ in damages during the plaintiff’s case.

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