Jurors deem plaintiff negligent in suit over defective motorcycle helmet

David Yates Dec. 22, 2015, 2:58pm


The trial of a civil suit alleging a motorcycle helmet was not equipped with “critical injury prevention technology” ended with a Beaumont jury assigning all the negligence to the plaintiff.

As previously reported, the suit was originally filed Wendall Lynn Hulse and Frances Kay Hulse 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 trial concluded on Dec. 21.

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

Jurors found there was no defect in the helmet when it left the possession of HJC and that the plaintiff was 100 percent negligent in causing the injury.

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.

The plaintiffs were seeking damages for alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages.

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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