Lawsuit against S.F. bicycle shop sees delays

A lawsuit against a Santa Fe bicycle shop filed by a man injured when his bike's front wheel came off has been stalled for three years by the complexities in tracking down manufacturers around the world. Full Story
ken

Santa Fe, NM

#1 May 26, 2009
Here is why there will always be a special place in hell for lawyers. A five year old bike on which the rider probably didn't tighten the hub sufficiently before abusing it is grounds for a product liability suit? So if I break my neck taking a jump on my five year old skis I can sue the ski shop? Sorry Mr. Sproul you should keep your equipment tuned and up to date if you're going to be doing stunts. Personal responsibility has gone out of fashion to the detriment of us all.
What

Albuquerque, NM

#2 May 26, 2009
...is wrong Mr. Sproul? Didn't make enough money off that barrio like development you did on Cam. de las Americas or whatever it's called off Cerrillos Rd.?
MAG

Santa Fe, NM

#3 May 26, 2009
Bike maintenence is part of owning a bike. What a fool.
Dog Breath

Los Alamos, NM

#4 May 26, 2009
Lets see now. He bought the bike in 1988 and crashed it in 2003, fifteen years later, and we are supposed to believe that the fault lies with Rob and Charlie's and the manufacturer? I would wonder what else happened to the bike during that fifteen years.

Lets see...a grown adult is jumping a fifteen year old mountainbike over a motorcross ramp. Did he check to see the bike was safe to jump before abusing it? Did he check the quick release?

Or is this just about deep pockets?

And we wonder why China has left the U.S. in the dust as far as industrial capacity. We train lawyers to pick people's pockets while China trains people to build stuff. Go figure.
Captain Opinion Santa Fe

El Paso, TX

#5 May 26, 2009
Dog Breath wrote:
Lets see now. He bought the bike in 1988 and crashed it in 2003, fifteen years later, and we are supposed to believe that the fault lies with Rob and Charlie's and the manufacturer? I would wonder what else happened to the bike during that fifteen years.
Lets see...a grown adult is jumping a fifteen year old mountainbike over a motorcross ramp. Did he check to see the bike was safe to jump before abusing it? Did he check the quick release?
Or is this just about deep pockets?
And we wonder why China has left the U.S. in the dust as far as industrial capacity. We train lawyers to pick people's pockets while China trains people to build stuff. Go figure.
Dog Breath - I like your thinking!

Mr. Sproul must have "sucker" stamped on his forehead.
Dog Breath

Los Alamos, NM

#6 May 26, 2009
Well, Capt. Opinion, I guess none of us in this peanut gallery here will ever see the jury box in this case. I can see the pretrial voir dire:

Plaintiff lawyer: Do you have any prejudices in this case?

Prospective Juror: Yes, sir, I think the plaintiff is trying to jettison all responsibility for this crash and to blame someone else, preferably someone with deep pockets.

Plaintiff lawyer: Your honor, I reject this juror. Can we please bring on prospective juror number 2,317?

By the way, I wonder what percent of cyclists have taken a flat file to those lawyer tabs after the first few times of frustration with getting the front wheel off. Those tabs, combined with "quick release", make quite the oxymoron.

“Ideologically opposed to art”

Since: Apr 09

Santa Fe

#7 May 26, 2009
I don't get it. An obsolete bicycle used in a dangerous manner? How can the crash be anyone's fault but the rider?

Weird.
Interesting

Santa Fe, NM

#8 May 26, 2009
That he's using an attorney from Corrales and not SF.
MXEditor

London, UK

#9 May 27, 2009
Even though this is a tragedy, BMX riders know the dangers of the sport. I for one would never use such an old frame to jump with....I mean what is the maintenance record on that bike?

Also, in 1988 the standard for jumps and half pipes was soooo much tamer, no way the manufacturers should be held liable for this type of usage.

You are lucky you can walk dude. Thank your lucky stars.
Khal Spencer

Los Alamos, NM

#10 May 27, 2009
MXEditor wrote:
Even though this is a tragedy, BMX riders know the dangers of the sport. I for one would never use such an old frame to jump with....I mean what is the maintenance record on that bike?
Also, in 1988 the standard for jumps and half pipes was soooo much tamer, no way the manufacturers should be held liable for this type of usage.
You are lucky you can walk dude. Thank your lucky stars.
Kinda like buying a 1960's car, crashing it, and then suing the company because it doesn't have three-point harness seat belts?

Fifteen years is a long time to claim naivete. Anyone who rides a bike regularly knows about lawyer tabs and why they are there. And, knows to check the quick release, albeit sometimes we forget. Motocross bicycling is a contact sport--contact with the ground.

I would fear for a person who did not understand bicycles but jumped them. However, that is a personal choice. All my bikes have caveats that their warranty is void if raced, etc.

This crash is tragic, but I don't see any point of the lawsuit except to get money from whoever has some.

We all have to be held accountable for our own actions and choices. As a nation, we are in this mess of a recession/depression because we have done exactly the opposite: looked for free lunches, mortgaged our future, taken high risks ignorant of the hazards (i.e., credit-default swaps, using our homes as ATMs, etc), and now mortgaged our present. Grow up, America. If it isn't too late already.
Khal Spencer

Los Alamos, NM

#11 May 27, 2009
I should have said above "Anyone who rides a bike regularly knows (or should learn) about lawyer tabs and why they are there. And, knows (or should learn) to check the quick release..."

I read some of John Forester's stuff linked below. John is the author of Effective Cycling, Bicycle Transportation: A Handbook for Cycling Transportation Engineers, and consults extensively in legal and bicycling matters.

Some things I came away with (go read the originals for whole context):

1. Bicycle mechanicals are serious business. Screw up and you can get hurt. I am not sure that all individuals take these seriously, or that all bike shops or mass marketers take these seriously.

2. When any of the parts of the front wheel/fork assembly are not in spec or don't seem to work in a straightforward manner, one had better worry and have the bike checked out--yesterday. A bicycle is not a harmless toy any more than a sports car is a harmless toy. You can get hurt.

3. If you have not learned the League of American Bicyclists "ABC Quick Check" (and yes, the Quick has to do with checking and understanding the quick releases), then do so NOW if you ride a bike.

Go here.

http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/be...

Any questions, find a good local bike shop (Rob and Charlies is a good local bike shop) to explain it or find a LAB Cycling Instructor. Go here.

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/...

John Forester has testified in many quick release cases (not surprisingly). Look here if you are interested in the breadth of these cases.

http://www.johnforester.com/Consult/cases1.ht...

Interesting comment here on those lawyer tabs, and the law of unintended consequences.

http://www.johnforester.com/Consult/cases2.ht...

"Davidson vs Sportmart, Rand, et al.;

Santa Clara Superior, California, 1998. I assisted Christopher Bagnashi, of Knopfler and Robertson, attorneys for Sportmart. This is a front-wheel quick-release separation case. The accident bicycle had special fork tips that had a circular depression around the axle end, or, shall we say, the fork tip was thicker everywhere except just around the axle end. The object of this design is to prevent the front wheel from coming out if the quick-release mechanism had been properly adjusted and was then released. Removing the wheel requires that the adjusting nut be unscrewed, thus destroying the proper adjustment. Of course, when the wheel is replaced, the adjustment must be made again, thus introducing this source of error with every wheel change. In other words, the presumed corrective measure makes the problem worse..."

Also, check

http://www.johnforester.com/Consult/cases3.ht...

Chirico vs Dick’s, Cabell County, WV, 2005

"The failure to clamp the front-wheel quick-release mechanism was hidden by the so-called positive retention device, which in this case was a thickened area of the fork ends below the axle. This thickened area is supposed to prevent front-wheel release even if the quick-release mechanism is not clamped. In this case, it merely delayed separation of the front wheel until the additional vibration caused by the speed berms caused it to separate. Without this positive retention device, the wheel would have fallen out when the bicycle was picked up, thus preventing the accident, because the wheel was not clamped."

Enjoy.
jacek rudowski

Boston, MA

#12 Oct 9, 2010
when i work on someones bike i remove the lawyer tabs as a matter of course. when i needed a new fork for my klein team super about 15 years ago i had peter mononey, a belmont, ma. frame builder fabricate it for me. peter knows my level of experience & we did not even discuss lawyer tabs, which did not want & peter did not include. i know how to use quick release, i never lost a wheel. a quick release i a great convenience compared to a slow release. there was one club one club ride i was on that one young man lost his front wheel. we went to a house & calied an ambulance, one of our members went to the hospital with him. the woman i was riding with that day had a minor spill when she was unable to avoid him or his bike.

Since: Sep 10

Earth

#14 Oct 10, 2010
I was expecting to read that it was a brand new bicycle, not a 15 year old bike. Filing a case after this long is just plain stupid or done because greed was the motive. Like $h!+, wear and tear happens.

For crying out loud, CAR MAKERS aren't liabile for damages that long. Most vehicle warranties run out at ten years and no court would impose penalties against a car maker unless it was a class action suit (e.g exploding gas tanks).

The bike in question had 15 years old parts made that were not intended for off-road use. Blaming the bike manufacterer for misuse of the product is dumb, and worse because of the age of the bike. Imagine if last week you crashed while driving an old 1960s pickup truck that had no seatbelts, and then tried to sue the car maker because they didn't build cars THEN up to specs for TODAY. It would never even get to court.

If there were any justice, the guy who filed the suit would be tied up and dropped onto concret head-first from 50 feet, his lawyers disembowelled for filing a frivolous lawsuit, and the judge thrown through a wood chipper while awake for not throwing out the case. Those punishments would be more common sense acts than what is being shown by those idiots.

There are crappy products sold to the public, and once in a while a bad product gets through for which the manufacturer should be liable. But these idiots need a dose of reality (either that, or cyanide) slipped into their breakfast cereals.

.
That

United States

#15 Oct 19, 2010
P_Smith wrote:
... these idiots need a dose of reality (either that, or cyanide) slipped into their breakfast cereals.
.

sounds like a threat. I think I will sue.
gear freak

Boston, MA

#16 Aug 22, 2011
i needed a new fork for my klein team super when peter mooney built me the new fork he did not ask me if i wanted lawyer tabs on it. it never occured to me to ask peter about it. peter knows i am an experienced cyclist so peter built the fork with out lawyer tabs the way i wanted it. the special place reserved in hell for lawyers is also the place the bozos who do not know how to secure should be sent.
Felicity

Elk Grove Village, IL

#17 Nov 4, 2014
It's unfortunate that there's lawsuits going on. What exactly happened? I'm glad that we have a bike shop so close to home. I've been needing to grab some extra tires to repair our sons bike.
http://www.triabike.com

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