East Baton Rouge Product Liability Lawyers
Motorcycle Helmet Failure — $4,000,000
Our client was a student heading to class on his motorcycle when he was confronted by a vehicle that pulled from a side street directly into his path. He suffered a brain injury that ended his career as a student and any chance for meaningful employment.
The other vehicle, obviously at fault for causing the accident, had only $10,000 liability insurance.
During the investigation, and based upon the observation of the investigating officer and EMT personnel that our client’s motorcycle helmet was not on his head after the accident, we focused upon the role of the helmet — whose only purpose was to protect our client from a head injury in just such an accident.
The strap securing the helmet to the head was broken and the manufacturer defended the case primarily by claiming that the strap broke on impact as our client flew headfirst into the side of the other vehicle.
Though it was an old helmet with some damage and much wear and tear, materials engineering science was used to prove that the helmet did not show damage from its impact with the other vehicle while still on our client’s head. We were also able to prove that the securing strap was unable to withstand the initial deceleration force that occurred when our client’s motorcycle first hit the vehicle and before flying forward.
A biomechanical engineer with motorcycle helmet expertise was used to prove that the brain injury sustained could not have resulted if the helmet been on our client’s head when he hit the door of the other vehicle headfirst. This expert was also used to prove that the speed of the impact was such that if the helmet had stayed on our client’s head, he would not have suffered a serious brain injury if the helmet had provided the protection it was supposed to provide.
The case settled after a key favorable evidence ruling by the trial judge. He ruled that the fault of the other driver could not be considered at the upcoming trial because the only purpose of a helmet is to protect a motorcycle rider in a crash no matter how it occurs, and the only damages that we were seeking from the helmet manufacturer were caused entirely by the failure of the helmet.
A life care planner and a professionally produced Day In The Life video helped produce a settlement of $1,200,000 in cash and another $1,000,000 in equal monthly payments guaranteed for 20 years by an A+ life insurance company, with those monthly payments continuing thereafter for as long as our client lives. If our young client lives for his normal life expectancy, the total payout will be $4,000,000.