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Motorcycle Tire Blow-Out Product Liability Case Awarded $15 Million by Jury

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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.

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  • Joel Dooris

    I just had the same thing happen to me, but thank GOD I didn’t drop the bike. I needed a new tire and a change of underwear!

  • Lynn

    I have a gentleman who suffered bad injuries due to a blow out with a Dunlop tire. This was on a 2007 Fatbot which has the wide rear tire. Only 3,500 miles on it. Does he have any recourse?

  • Went to a funeral today. Second funeral this weekend, third this year. Jeff was my cousin, but we never got to ride together. His Harley was previously crashed, so the old Honda [GL1100 Gold Wing?] was his backup bike that crashed from rear tire failure, according to news quoting the police report. Helmet was not full face, nor normal open face. No body armor. I don’t know the condition of his tires or his fork seals, or if he checked his tire pressure that day. An overloaded bike could cause an underinflated tire to fall off the rim or explode over a rough road, and leaky fork seals can cause a severe tank-slapper at normal highway speeds, as I found out personally on a Honda Nighthawk 650 at 35 mph under braking. Monday was over 80 degrees, a beautiful day to ride up to Bald River Falls… His fiance says she’ll never ride again. This is one reason I check my tire pressures every time I ride, and carry a pressure gauge to check again on the way home. In fact, when I got home from Jeff’s funeral, I checked my car tires, and one had the most severe belt deformation I’d ever seen, with the Firestone tire tread actually concave 1/4 inch deep by 4 inches wide by 1 foot long at 35 psi (not tread wear).

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