Monday, November 8, 2010

PRODUCTS LIABILITY – DEFECTIVE CHINESE MOTORCYCLE

Jaime D. Jackson recently settled a case against Keeway Motor America, Inc. involving their importation and sale in the United States of what Plaintiff alleged was a defective 250 cc Keeway Dorado motorcycle that had been manufactured by a Chinese manufacturer in China.

Plaintiff was driving her recently purchased Keeway Dorado motorcycle when the front end of the motorcycle began to wobble resulting in her exiting the roadway and crashing. After extensive investigation, it was learned that the upper and lower steering races in the steering assembly were missing some ball bearings in the steering races. This was an assembly defect that occurred at the manufacturing facility in China. The proper number of ball bearings in the steering races is critical to the safety and steering of the motorcycle.

Unfortunately, numerous plaintiffs, as was the case here, are unable to obtain proper jurisdiction over Chinese manufacturers in the United States, because China is not a party to the Hague Convention. However, in this litigation, we came up with creative theories of liability against the importer of the defective motorcycle including citing to regulations promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that view the importer of motor vehicles (which include motorcycles) as the manufacturer of the product with an obligation to make sure that the product is free from defects and safe for its intended use before being sold in the United States.

It is unfair that injured Americans sometimes may not be able to sue a manufacturer of unsafe products because of arcane laws, however, with these new theories of liability and creative litigation strategies developed by Jaime Jackson other responsible entities such as importers and dealers can be held accountable for selling unsafe products and victims of these unsafe products can obtain justice and be properly compensated for the harm caused by these unsafe products.

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