Flip over handlebars leads bike rider to file product liability suit

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 10, 2009, 5:50am

SHERMAN � While riding his bicycle, Scott Warren says he was thrown over the handlebars and onto the pavement when the pedal suddenly broke.

Warren filed a product liability lawsuit against Pacific Cycle, Dorel Industries Inc, Catic Bicycle Co., and Whole Man Enterprise Co. on Dec. 15, 2008, in the 366th judicial district of Collin County. The defendants removed the case to the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas on Sept. 2.

Warren was riding a Mongoose Placid bicycle that he purchased in November 2005.

He argues that the defendants were negligent in failing to design the bicycle so that the pedal crank would not break and negligent in the manufacture of the bicycle. Further, the plaintiff claims the defendants were negligent for not warning that the pedal might suddenly and unexpectedly break.

Arguing strict liability, the lawsuit states, "the bicycle was in a defective condition and unsafe for its intended purposes at the time it left control of the defendants and at the time it was sold to Plaintiff."

The plaintiff believes the defendants breached express and implied warranties that the bicycle was of merchantable quality and was safe. Warren states the defendants violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by making "false, misleading, and deceptive" representations.

Pacific Cycle denies Warren's allegations and has filed a cross-claim against the other defendants. Pacific Cycle argues the bicycle in question used a crank set that was designed, manufactured and assembled by the other defendants.

The remaining defendants have not yet responded to the allegations.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, cost of bicycle, attorneys' fees, costs of suit and pre and post-judgment interest.

Allen attorneys Arthur K. Smith and Gregory W. Scogin are representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider will preside over the litigation.

Case No 4:09cv00436

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