As much as I like motorcycles, I show no mercy when a defective design or manufacturing defect hurts or kills a fellow motorcyclist.
I have filed several very large class action and single incident product liability cases. I am prevented from identifying certain manufacturers due to non-disclosure clauses contained in the settlement documents, but can provide some examples:
- In the 1970’s a certain Japanese manufacturer built a 3 cylinder 750 cc two stroke which was lightning quick. The only problem was that the frame was so poorly designed that when you went around a turn, it was as if the bike had a hinge in the middle. It was really dangerous. In an effort to sell more motorcycles in the United States, this manufacturer came out with a “police version.” The radio above the rear fender, along with the other needed police gear, added 100 pounds to the bike. The manufacturer did no testing with the additional weight. One of the first peace officers in the U.S. to ride one of these bikes was in California. While pursuing a suspect vehicle around a 70 m.p.h. curve, the bike spit him off and into a guard rail. His injuries were horrendous. I brought a lawsuit on behalf of the officer and other owners. We reached a very large settlement for the officer. The 750 two stroke was taken out of the U.S. market in the mid 1970’s.
- Another very prominent Japanese motorcycle and car manufacturer had a problem with the hardening process used on their transmission gears. One or more of the gears would fracture around the 15,000 mile mark. This defect came to my attention when a mother came in to talk to me about her son who died while riding his motorcycle. The police report found her son at fault for his own death. In looking at the diagram of the accident scene, something just wasn’t right. There were no other cars involved, yet there was several hundred feet of rear wheel skid marks, before he hit the concrete divider. I hired the best motorcycle expert in the country. When he disassembled the transmission, he found the 5th gear had fractured. The metal pieces caused the rear wheel to lock up. We brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer on behalf of the mother and all owners of that specific model. We tried the wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court and reached a settlement during trial.
- Our law firm is prosecuting the largest motorcycle lawsuit in U.S. history. Click here for a news story that explains the details.