EricG

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Denver man sues Specialized for $10 million in helmet product liability case
Published August 29, 2019
DENVER (BRAIN) — A 50-year-old Denver man is suing Specialized Bicycle Components for $10 million, claiming the helmet he wore when he crashed his bike was defective.


Specialized denies the claims; this week both sides asked the U.S. District Court in Denver to issue a protective order to prevent the public from seeing confidential trade information during the litigation.

According to his complaint, Victor Moreno said he was wearing a size XXL Specialized Max helmet model when he overcooked a corner while cycling in June 2017. Moreno said he tumbled and slid to the side of the road. His injuries included a skull fracture, scalp laceration and permanent brain injuries.

Moreno said he bought the helmet at Wheat Ridge Cyclery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, in 2016.

"Mr. Moreno bought the helmet because it was one of the few designed to fit his head and because he trusted that it would keep him safe during typical bicycle accident scenarios," he said in the complaint filed in June. He is being represented by Dormer Harpring, LLC, a Denver law firm that specializes in personal injury litigation.

The complaint asserts that the helmet was sold with the promise that it met various safety standards, including Specialized's "more rigid criteria." Without specifying how, the complaint charges that Moreno's helmet "was not designed and manufactured such that it could comply with the requirements of its certifications and testing."

The complaint charges that Specialized made manufacturing and testing decision that "resulted in the helmet being cheap instead of reasonably safe during common bicycle accidents."

Among those decisions was the choice to not use MIPS technology on the model (In November 2018, Specialized announced that MIPS would be available in all its helmet models; the Max model has been discontinued).
In an August answer to the complaint, Specialized denied Moreno's allegations.

Specialized also filed a corporate disclosure statement with the court in early August as required by federal rules.

"Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. (a nongovernmental corporate party) certifies that it is a privately held corporation, it has no parent corporation, and Merida Industry Co. Ltd., a publicly traded company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, holds more than 10% or more of its stock," the disclosure reads in part.

The court has not granted the confidential information protective order that the sides requested earlier this week.
 

Popeye Cahn

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It's unfortunate that this person has been seriously injured, but good luck in getting a dime out of Spesh. Interesting that both sides petitioned the court to protect the trade information from public view.
 

coskigirl

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It's unfortunate that this person has been seriously injured, but good luck in getting a dime out of Spesh. Interesting that both sides petitioned the court to protect the trade information from public view.
We can assume that Specialized is seeking protection of trade secrets but why would we assume the plaintiff is seeking protection of them? “Confidential information” could mean medical information or something else entirely.
 

cantunamunch

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We can assume that Specialized is seeking protection of trade secrets but why would we assume the plaintiff is seeking protection of them? “Confidential information” could mean medical information or something else entirely.
I don't know that we're technically assuming anything other than the veracity of the reporting ?
 

pete

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General thought is he messed up and seeks some money from where ever, sure he'll need it but deep pockets and out of court settlement.

But unless Specialized certifications claims are false ... simply in his lap.

The MIPS comment makes no sense.

Hope he recovers but as noted... why foam is so expensive.
 

coskigirl

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I don't know that we're technically assuming anything other than the veracity of the reporting ?
The other poster said “both sides petitioned the court to protect the trade information” which is quite a leap from “the court has not granted the confidential information protective order that the sides requested...” I’d say the assumption lies wholly with the poster, not the reporting.
 

pchewn

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If the helmets were actually tested by a third party to meet the advertised established industry standards for helmet performance, then I don't see much for the lawsuit to stand on.

I think it will be easy to find an expert who will testify that the victim would be dead if he hadn't been wearing a helmet.
 

Popeye Cahn

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The other poster said “both sides petitioned the court to protect the trade information” which is quite a leap from “the court has not granted the confidential information protective order that the sides requested...” I’d say the assumption lies wholly with the poster, not the reporting.
Requested, petitioned... sort of the same, no? IANAL, but the first sentence states it thusly: "...this week both sides asked the U.S. District Court in Denver to issue a protective order to prevent the public from seeing confidential trade information during the litigation" whereas the last sentence was as you have quoted. I simply found that interesting information. I trust you can see why I thought as I did, that both were seeking the same thing because the first sentence stuck in my mind rather than the last. So the reporting should be at question, my summation not so much I feel.
 

coskigirl

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Requested, petitioned... sort of the same, no? IANAL, but the first sentence states it thusly: "...this week both sides asked the U.S. District Court in Denver to issue a protective order to prevent the public from seeing confidential trade information during the litigation" whereas the last sentence was as you have quoted. I simply found that interesting information. I trust you can see why I thought as I did, that both were seeking the same thing because the first sentence stuck in my mind rather than the last. So the reporting should be at question, my summation not so much I feel.
Ah, you’re right, my bad. Too many hours buried in con law today.
 

Erik Timmerman

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As much as I want to say this guy is a dick for bringing this suit, there's a pretty good chance that it's his insurance company making him do it. When my daughter tore her ACL, I can't tell you how many letters we got from the insurance company asking us where and how it happened, and who could be held responsible.
 

Coach13

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As much as I want to say this guy is a dick for bringing this suit, there's a pretty good chance that it's his insurance company making him do it. When my daughter tore her ACL, I can't tell you how many letters we got from the insurance company asking us where and how it happened, and who could be held responsible.
As we said in another thread it’s common place for the health insurance companies to drive these suits for sure.
 

James

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This is why the guys who invented SawStop couldn’t sell it to any manufacturers of table saws. It senses when a sawblade touches skin and uses airbag technology to fire a pin and stop the blade saving other fingers. Everyone thought it was brilliant, but if they put it on one model the others would be deemed unsafe and they’d be sued.
This guy is claiming his helmet is unsafe without MIPS. Afaik, mips doesn’t help with direct impacts that give skull fractures. It’s a twisting issue.
 

cantunamunch

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Heh, selling patented inventions to established producers has always been unlikely to impossible - they'd far rather pay their own engineers to design around claims and then go fight validity if they have to.
 

Popeye Cahn

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Heh, selling patented inventions to established producers has always been unlikely to impossible - they'd far rather pay their own engineers to design around claims and then go fight validity if they have to.
And it's cheaper to do this, just ask the guy that invented intermittent wipers, patented them and tried to sell them to Ford. Suing them nearly cost him everything he had, including his family. In the end he only managed to get $10M out of the initial $350M he sought as just compensation ($50 per every vehicle that Ford sold with intermittent wipers).

https://thehustle.co/windshield-wiper-inventor-robert-kearns
 
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