Custom Motorcycle Manufacturer Sued for Product Defect

Big Bear motorcyle product defect

Were they cruising for a bruising?

I work with hundreds of different types of manufactures and distributors, but custom motorcycle manufacturers really stand out in the crowd. As a whole, this group is like the motorcycles they design and manufacture: unique and independent.

I give quotes and place many Product Liability policies for custom motorcycle manufactures. When compared to similar-sized businesses in different industries, they’re more likely to roll the dice by not carrying Product Liability Insurance.

The cost of taking risks

This is why this article about a bike manufacturer being sued in New York attracted my attention. Custom motorcycle manufactures should take notice of the facts of this product liability case. It shows just how quickly a Product Liability Claim can be made. Below are key elements in this particular case:

  • Fact 1: Two two screws caused this accident. Apparently, they vibrated out of the front fender causing the fender to make contact with and lock the front tire of the motorcycle.
  • Fact 2: The accident resulted in a real injury. The plaintiff ended up having his right leg amputated above the knee.
  • Fact 3: It took three years of discovery to resolve this Product liability case. That implies hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in man hours to comply and respond to discovery requests.


Weighing the risk of economics

I understand that economics sometimes dictate whether someone can afford insurance. However, Product Liability Insurance is a must if the failure of your product can result in loss of life or serious injury.

Maybe custom motorcycle manufactures rationalize that people who aren’t willing to take a risk shouldn’t buy a motorcycle. However, I think that most riders accept responsibility for risking their own lives (e.g. driving too fast or not wearing helmets). But they will quickly sue when they believe your product was responsible for putting them at unexpected or unintended risk.

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