PWD Wins Jury Verdict Against Bike Tech for $801,000
Mr. R bought a special order, “Specialized” mountain bike from Bike Tech in 2016 for $7,500. Bike Tech is a Specialized dealer. When Mr. R picked up his new bike, Bike Tech set the suspension system for Mr. R’s weight. That means pressuring the suspension system with air. Bike Tech, however, ignored manufacturer specifications on this unique suspension system and instead pressurized it as it would for other more common manufacturers. As a result, Bike Tech pressurized the system for an adult weighing 100 lbs. less than Mr. R, who is and experienced rider at 6’5”\, weighing 235 lbs. Bike Tech also misrepresented to Mr. R the amount of pressure he should maintain.
Six days later, Mr. R was on the bike trails at Virginia Key when he executed a 2 foot drop. When he landed, the front suspension system collapsed and he flew over the handle bars. One shoulder was severely fractured and the other was torn. Two surgeries were required. PWD retained the services of an engineer and biking expert, who had mountain bike design experience with Trek and Fuji. Bike Tech retained an expert who represented he was part of a Cannondale Team and product representative.
In a four day trial, Skip Pita and Randy Weber proved that Bike Tech was negligent and caused the need for both surgeries as well as the need for future medical procedures. The jury awarded all past medical expenses – $226,000, future medical expenses of $175,000, and pain and suffering damages of $400,000 for a total of $801,000. After reductions of comparative fault and other mandatory reductions, judgment was entered against Bike Tech for $427,000. Costs will also be awarded, and PWD estimates that the end result will be well north of $450,000. PWD offered to settle the case for $450,000. Bike Tech never offered more than $250,000.