JURY DISMISSES SUIT AGAINST HARLEY-DAVIDSON OVER ABS INDICATOR
An article by Dennis Chung in the December 20, 2011 edition of MOTORCYCLE.COM reports that a Sacramento Superior Court jury has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Harley-Davidson involving a 2009 accident that left one of the plaintiffs with severe brain injuries.
Judy Wilson was injured in an April 11, 2009, crash after her husband, Jack, locked the rear wheel of his non-ABS equipped2008 Harley-Davidson Road Glide.
The plaintiffs contended they believed their was equipped with ABS because the instrument panel had an ABS indicator icon and from the salespersons sales pitch. The Wilsons sought $2.6 million in damages.
The defense argued the salesperson never said the model was equipped with ABS. Harley-Davidson lawyers argued ABS and non-ABS versions of the same model have identical instrument panels, with the indicator light disabled on non-ABS versions. The defense argued it was not a manufacturer defect to have a position on the instrument panel for an ABS indicator for models without ABS.
The jury deliberated for just half a day before ruling there was no defect and the dealership did not mislead the plaintiffs about whether the Road Glide was equipped with ABS.
The case could have had far-reaching consequences for motorcycle manufacturers if the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. If they ruled a defect existed, manufacturers could have to produce separate instrument panels for the same models with or without ABS.
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