Kawasaki Motorcycle Design Defect Case Survives Motion to Dismiss

The design defect lawsuit filed by parents on behalf of their minor son, who became permanently injured when his Christmas gift of a Kawasaki motorcycle crashed, survived a motion to dismiss earlier this month.

The couple bought a new Kawasaki motorcycle as a Christmas present for their minor son in 2010. When the boy first rode the motorcycle on Christmas Day, the bike crashed, which resulted in a serious and permanent injury. The parents claim that negligent assembly of the motorcycle’s throttle mechanism was responsible for causing the accident.

One of the defendants in the action moved to have the case, which was filed in federal court, dismissed against it, claiming that the court lacked the requisite personal jurisdiction over the company. However, the U.S. District Judge disagreed, and denied the motion, finding that the defendant had sufficient minimum contacts with New Jersey to justify keeping the claim against it.

The opinion states that the defendant has maintained contacts with New Jersey for at least 10 years, and has even offered to travel there to perform maintenance on bikes. Additionally, prior to the lawsuit it allegedly advertised its proximity to New Jersey online. Furthermore, among other benefits and protections of the laws of the state enjoyed by the plaintiffs, the judge wrote: “New Jersey customers have purchased more than 1,900 vehicles, or 12 percent of all vehicles sold at [the company], which account for more than $10.3 million in revenue from New Jersey residents over the past decade.”

The decision is worth noting, because if a plaintiff files a lawsuit in the incorrect venue, they may waive the right to bring a lawsuit against the defendant. This is particularly true if the case is adjudicated regarding the rest of the defendants. This is why it is critical to hire a law firm experienced in bringing these sorts of actions.

Under Maryland law, in cases such as this one, the plaintiff must prove the following elements in order to establish a manufacturer’s liability: (1) the product was defective when it left the manufacturer or seller’s control; (2) the product was unreasonably dangerous; (3) the product’s defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) there was no substantial change in the product’s condition prior to its reaching the plaintiff. If all four of these elements are satisfied, then the manufacturer of the product is potentially liable for all of the injuries and other damages the plaintiff sustained as a result of the defective product.

If you or a loved one has sustained a personal injury or wrongful death in Maryland or Washington D.C. due to someone else’s negligence, consult the experienced personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. Our law firm has extensive experience in helping victims recover the damages they are entitled to. We have successfully represented individuals hurt in many different kinds of accidents, including medical malpractice, car accidents, birth injuries, and slip and fall accidents. Contact us today in order to schedule your free initial consultation. You can reach us through our website, or by calling 1-800-654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Family Sues Rodeo After Golf Cart Puts Woman into Coma, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published August 9, 2013
Maryland High Court Refuses to Hold Bar Liable for Drunken Patron Actions, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published July 26, 2013

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