Jackson, Miss. Jury Finds Suzuki Motorcycle Not Defective in Significant Product Liability Decision

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JACKSON, MS – December 12, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  In a unanimous verdict in favor of Suzuki Motor Corporation on December 7, a jury of five men and seven women delivered a decision that a Suzuki motorcycle did not have a design defect. Plaintiff Bradley Stubblefield claimed during the five-week trial that the front brake on his GSX-R1000 suddenly failed, causing him to crash and suffer serious injuries. The jury found that the subject motorcycle was not defective and not responsible for the injuries suffered by Stubblefield.

The case arose from a January 2012 motorcycle crash in Madison County, Miss., while Stubblefield was on his way to work. Witnesses said that upon entering the entrance ramp to an interstate highway, Stubblefield suddenly appeared on the left side of a car that was already in the one lane on-ramp. He encountered gravel, locked up his rear brake in the gravel, and ultimately went down a 20 foot deep ravine. At trial, the plaintiff’s team claimed corrosion and hydrogen gas were the cause of his brake failure. Suzuki proved that Stubblefield’s front brake was fully functional during the crash and that neither corrosion nor hydrogen gas contributed to the crash. The physical evidence proved that the motorcycle did not have a design defect.

The jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning a verdict in favor of Suzuki Motor Corporation, awarding the plaintiff nothing.

The attorneys for the plaintiff were Randy Edwards of Cochran and Edwards in Smyrna, Ga., Mike Malouf Sr., and Mike Malouf Jr., of Malouf and Malouf in Jackson, Miss.

The attorneys for Suzuki were Randy Riggs and Jeff Mortier of Frost, Brown, Todd in Indianapolis, Ind., and Bobby Miller, Will Thomas, and Kat Carrington of Butler Snow in Jackson, Miss.

Experts presented on behalf of the plaintiff were Jeff Hyatt of Applied Technical Services, in Marietta, Ga., Mark Kittel of Veritech in Castle Rock, Co. and Dr. Howard Katz of in Jackson, Miss.

Experts presented on behalf of Suzuki Motor Corporation were Todd D. Hoover of Design Research Engineering in Houston, and Kevin Breen of Engineering Systems, Inc. in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Source: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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