BY: A Staff Writer
An Illinois federal jury earlier this month awarded a South Carolina woman $15 million after finding that the tire of the motorcycle she was riding on was defective and led to an accident that left her with severe brain damage. According to an article in the Peoria Journal Star, members of the jury deliberated for 15 hours over two days before they made their decision to hold Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd. liable for the May 26, 2002 accident.
The victim, Trish McCloud, was riding on the back of a motorcycle and was on her way home from a bike rally when the motorcycle’s tire deflated. The motorcycle’s driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed. McCloud ended up striking her head on the sidewalk after the motorcycle flipped. Although she was wearing a helmet, the impact of the crash was so great that it caused severe brain damage, the article said. She was also left partially paralyzed after the accident and requires around-the-clock care, her attorneys told the newspapers.
The victim probably won’t see any part of the money for a while, because Goodyear is very likely to appeal the jury award. It is hard to imagine how tragic this accident must have been for the woman, who has been rendered invalid and in a permanent state of dependency. The bills are probably mounting and her family needs this money to secure her future and pay for treating her severe brain injury.
Obviously, jurors awarded this record settlement because they saw the connection between the defective tire and the accident. Unfortunately this is a fairly common occurrence. According to an article in the Motorcycle Cruiser magazine, www.motorcyclecruiser.com tire defects and tire blowouts are the leading cause of motorcycle accidents in the United States.
Here’s a Web site on how to choose tires wisely and how what you don’t know can hurt you: http://motorcyclecruiser.com/tech/tire_facts/index.html. Injuries are almost a certainty in these types of accidents. The blowout occurs so quickly that the driver of the motorcycle hardly has any time to adjust and regain control of the vehicle.
These lawsuits are also absolutely vital because it is the only situation where a product defect is exposed in public and manufacturers are forced to take responsibility for their defective products. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.