David Yates Dec. 8, 2015, 3:14pm


A civil trial in Beaumont is underway over litigation brought by Wendall and Frances Hulse, who sued the makers and distributors of a motorcycle helmet, alleging the helmet was not equipped with “critical injury prevention technology.”

As previously reported, the suit was originally filed June 21, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court and names Harley Davidson, Hongjin Crown Corp. and Cowboy Motorsports as defendants.

Jury selection in the case began Dec. 8. The case is expected to run for as long as two weeks, according to a courthouse official.

The lawsuit alleges that on Sept. 22, 2011, Wendall was injured in a motorcycle crash. The helmet he was wearing was purchased at Cowboy Motorsport and manufactured by HJC.

The plaintiffs contend that the helmet was defective and that because it was not equipped with critical injury prevention technology, the helmet’s defects were the producing causes of Wendall’s injuries.

The suit alleges the defendants were aware of the helmet’s defects and negligently placed it into the stream of commerce.

All defendants have argued the plaintiffs fail to plead facts to support a design defect claim, court records show.

Wendall is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Frances is suing for mental anguish damages.

Houston attorney John Stevenson Jr. of Stevenson & Murray represents them.

HJC and Harley Davidson are represented in part by Christopher Trent, attorney for the Houston law firm Johnson, Trent, West & Taylor.

Cowboy Motorsports is represented by attorney Dru Montgomery of The Heartfield Law Firm in Beaumont.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. D192-606

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