$1 million awarded to MB rider/ fender failure

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by truthteller, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. truthteller

    truthteller New Member

    I think you all should read this! There are many facts that were left out of the story in the Tulsa World. The following article will be found at morelaw.com, and may paint a different picture.


    Description: The Plaintiffs alleged that the Pacific Cycle Defendants had imported and
    placed into the stream of commerce a bicycle that was inherently
    defective and dangerous due to a defective front fender tab, which had
    broken within the first week Plaintiff used the bike. On August 2,
    2006, the Plaintiff was riding his Pacific Cycle bike, which had been
    retrofitted with a 48 cc motor by an EBay seller, Wonderful Creations,
    Inc. As he was proceeding to work on the morning of August 2, 2006, he
    heard a snap or pop and then was propelled over his handlebars onto the
    pavement. The Plaintiff suffered serious injuries to his shoulder and
    left wrist, which required a total of five surgeries over the next two
    to three years. He had medical expenses of $74,034.29, and he and his
    wife had lost wages from their jobs with the City of Tulsa in the amount
    of $25,442.77, which were not disputed at trial. The Plaintiffs also
    sought and were awarded by the jury additional sums of money for mental
    and physical pain and suffering, some slight permanent disability in the
    left wrist, slight disfigurement from scars, and deformity from a broken
    collar bone sustained in the accident, as well as the wife's stress and
    mental anguish associated with her husband's injuries and medical
    treatment. The case was presided over by U.S. District Court Judge
    Gregory Frizzell.



    The Plaintiffs presented testimony from William Coleman with
    Analytical & Materials Engineering located in Norman, Oklahoma, that the
    front fender bracket was inherently defective and dangerous, either as a
    result of some bending and stresses that had been put on the fender
    bracket that broke during its manufacturing process in China, or that
    it simply was not a thick enough piece of metal. The Plaintiffs also
    presented evidence that Pacific Cycle imports over a million bicycles a
    year in the U.S. from manufacturing plants in Taiwan and China, making
    them the largest importers of bicycles into the U.S. The Plaintiffs
    presented evidence that Pacific Cycle had no independent engineering or
    testing departments to check the safety and quality of their bikes.
    Testimony was that the bike frame and fork was manufactured by a plant
    in China, which Pacific Cycle claimed did safety testing and quality
    control, but Pacific Cycle was unable to present any documentation to
    support that claim. The fender and fender bracket were manufactured by
    a different vendor also in China, but Pacific Cycle was unable to even
    identify the specific vendor who had manufactured the fender and fender
    bracket, and thus, was unable to present any documentation showing that
    there was any safety testing or quality control done with regard to the
    manufacturing of the fender bracket. Evidence was also presented by the
    Plaintiffs that although Pacific Cycle imports approximately 200
    different models of bikes into the U.S. market, they have one generic
    manual, which is placed in the box in the Chinese and Taiwan plants, and
    that manual showed two L brackets in the fender diagram, as opposed to a
    single bracket, which was on the bike the Plaintiff was riding, and that
    the manual contained no information regarding assembling or tightening
    of the fender stays on the bike, which the Pacific Cycle expert, David
    Mitchell, claimed may have not been properly tightened by the Plaintiff
    when he put the fender on the bike after receiving it from Wonderful
    Creations, and may have contributed to the accident.



    Pacific Cycle's primary defense to the case was that the
    subsequent modification of the bicycle by the EBay seller, Wonderful
    Creations, had rendered the bicycle no longer a "bicycle" and that the
    vibration of the motor, which had been bolted to the bike frame, had
    caused a fatigue fracture of the bracket on the fender. The Pacific
    Cycle corporate representative claimed that Pacific Cycle had no
    knowledge that people in the United States were making after market
    modifications to its bikes by putting motors on them, but the corporate
    representative admitted that he had made no efforts such as sending out
    an e-mail within the company or a survey to find out if this alleged
    lack of knowledge of the after market modification was truly unknown by
    all of the employees within the company. The Plaintiff testified that
    at the time he decided to purchase a motorized bike that there were
    numerous listings on EBay, both for bikes that had already been
    retrofitted with the motor from numerous EBay sellers, as well as kits
    from which one could install the after market motor themselves. Pacific
    Cycle presented testimony from David Mitchell, an engineer from Georgia
    and volunteer Olympic bicycle mechanic, who testified that although he
    had done no scientific testing and had only examined the bike for
    approximately an hour, that the vibration of the motor was an
    unforeseeable modification to the bike and in fact had changed the bike
    to where it no longer met the definition of a "bicycle", which has to be
    solely humanly powered. Mr. Mitchell who does some independent
    engineering and testing for other bike companies testified that Pacific
    Cycle had their own engineering and testing department, which was
    contrary to the Pacific Cycle corporate representative's testimony. Mr.
    Mitchell said that Pacific Cycle did not ever hire him to do work on the
    front end in testing or designing for products before they went to
    market, but did hire him after people make claims of defective products
    resulting in Pacific Cycle bike accidents to do forensic work, and that
    he had testified at least 20 times at trial or deposition on Pacific
    Cycle's behalf over the last four or five years. Mr. Mitchell claimed
    that there have not been other reports of fender brackets breaking and
    causing accidents, although he admitted that he had done any Internet
    searches, was unaware that people were reporting fender brackets on the
    front bicycle fenders breaking on other bikes on Internet websites, and
    had not contacted the customer service department of Pacific Cycle to
    see if any other customers had complained of fender brackets breaking.



    Outcome: Plaintiffs' verdict for $1.1 million.

    Plaintiff's Experts: David A. Mitchell, P.E. is President of MET Ltd., in Cumming, GA, an
    engineering consulting firm established in 1995 to provide technical
    consulting to individuals, industry, government and organizations in
    areas related to bicycles and bicycling. He received his Bachelors
    degree in Metallurgical Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia
    in 1971 and completed graduate level coursework thereafter. Mr. Mitchell
    completed the Bicycle Mechanics Clinic offered by U.S.A. Cycling and is
    a Bicycle Mechanic licensed by the United States Cycling Federation. He
    is a licensed professional engineer.
     

  2. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    that's quite the intro post. :annoyed:

    I took the liberty of putting a copy of it here,

    http://motoredbikes.com/showthread.php?t=28144

    in an existing thread of the same topic. (exact same title)

    We try to keep the intros light and post the serious issues where they belong, throughout the forums.

    Now, would you care to tell us a little about yourself?

    Do you have a motor bike? Do you want one?
    (Maybe just say "Hello" ?)
     
  3. oologah

    oologah Banned

    Was there a point here?
     
  4. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    only point I see is,,,
    he's loaded ($$$) and we might get screwed outta the deal :(
     
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