Michelin Tires supposedly sued over fatal motorcycle crash - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Michelin Tires supposedly sued over fatal motorcycle crash

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/n...091810.article



September 18, 2010
Sun-Times Media

The family of a Downers Grove man who died in a motorcycle crash in 2008 is suing tire-maker Michelin, claiming defective tires contributed to the fatal crash.

Kimberly Thollander, administrator for the estate of Gregory Holman, filed the suit against Michelin North America Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Holman, 47, of Downers Grove, was killed Sept. 19, 2008, when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a freight truck on New Avenue about a quarter-mile east of Cico Road in southwest DuPage Township, according to the Will County coroner's office.

He was pronounced dead on the scene at 7:15 p.m., according to the coroner's office.

The suit claims the Michelin tires on Holman's 2004 Buell Lightning motorcycle were defective, and that treads became abnormally deformed and tires separate during normal use, causing the driver to lose control.

One or more tires allegedly went out of control on Holman's motorcycle, leading to the fatal crash, the suit claims.

The two-count product liability and wrongful death suit seeks at least $100,000 in damages.

Michelin spokeswoman Lynn Mann said late Saturday morning they have not been served with the suit yet, and could not immediately provide a comment.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 07:44 PM
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interesting... seems a bit lawsuit happy to me though

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 08:27 PM
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Re: Michelin Tires supposedly sued over fatal motorcycle crash

if its true that seems cheap

Jordan
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotx1 View Post
interesting... seems a bit lawsuit happy to me though
The best I could find was a forum post a couple days after the accident that said:

"...
The accident happened on his street buell (he owned several H-D street bikes)
a following driver/witness stated the bike/rider was fine, normal commuting,
then suddenly appaered to shake,(head shake?front brake problem?blown front tire?) out of control , and drifted Greg into the other lane (oncoming)
..." src: http://www.dirtrider.net/forums3/sho...d.php?t=167882

*shrug* getting a flat tire isn't the tire companies fault, unless there was a known and findable defect in the tire that they found afterwards.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 12:41 AM

 
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Its going no where. Tires fail all the time. you'd have to prove michelin KNEW the tires were bad and they allowed them to be sold. Not going to happen. Hell, last year or the year prior ONE machine in France had an issue and they pulled ALL the tires made on all the machines...if memory serves correct.

USA is the most litigious country in the world. Think about it. Would you be happy with 100k if a company was at fault for killing your wife, mom, dad, etc? That number alone makes me think they're just hoping Michelin pays and says "go away you bother me"

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:40 AM
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It may be michelins Fault for defective tires, or it may be the riders fault for not checking his tire pressure and his tires before everyride, if it was a blow out there will be no way to know who's at fault. Judge will throw it out or decided in the michelin's favor

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:50 AM
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yep.. sounds like a lawsuit for a quick cash grab.

if these tires were defective, how come no one else has had an issue. next they are gonna sue HD for making a bike that randomly loses control.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:24 AM
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I hate it when one or more of my tires go out of control.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:43 AM
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunshowNick View Post
USA is the most litigious country in the world.
Sounds like one of your riders meetings.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 11:10 AM
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Can I sue Michelin because my tires don't last long enough and I have to keep buying replacements?
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunshowNick View Post
Its going no where. Tires fail all the time. you'd have to prove michelin KNEW the tires were bad and they allowed them to be sold. Not going to happen. Hell, last year or the year prior ONE machine in France had an issue and they pulled ALL the tires made on all the machines...if memory serves correct.

USA is the most litigious country in the world. Think about it. Would you be happy with 100k if a company was at fault for killing your wife, mom, dad, etc? That number alone makes me think they're just hoping Michelin pays and says "go away you bother me"
Actually, no, they don't need to KNOW they were bad. Product liability claims based on manufacturing flaw are essentially considered strict liability, which does not require negligence, let alone knowing and willful misconduct.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 01:06 PM
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Just fucking dumb ...... bad things happen for no reason sometimes.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:27 PM
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I'm not saying this is what happened.....but I will say that 85% of the bikes that come into my shop have LOW tire pressure.

People need to check their tire pressure WAY more often. You can tell as soon as you try and make a turn....if the thing wants to stand up...you need some air!

Thats why front tires especially start to cup and your tires wear out abnormally fast....it takes 90 seconds before you ride to check them.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:55 PM
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 05:40 PM

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob, Esq. View Post
Actually, no, they don't need to KNOW they were bad. Product liability claims based on manufacturing flaw are essentially considered strict liability, which does not require negligence, let alone knowing and willful misconduct.

So what your stating is once an item, a tire in this case, passes QC which is regulated to meet a standard that is established by government "fails" after the standard is meet that failure can be used even if it is not existent during manufacturing? If that were the case what keeps anyone/everyone from suing every manuf. for tires that simply go flat before their stated life line (miles)? Wouldn't it be considered a "failure" if it goes flat before a certain mileage?

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunshowNick View Post
So what your stating is once an item, a tire in this case, passes QC which is regulated to meet a standard that is established by government "fails" after the standard is meet that failure or flaw can be used even if it is not existent during manufacturing? If that were the case what keeps anyone/everyone from suing every manuf. for tires that simply go flat before their stated life line (miles)?
That's not what I'm saying.

Manufacturers rarely, if ever, inspect every single product going out the doors. It usually batch or random testing. Just because 99% of the batch or random samples were good to go doesn't mean the individual tire that this guy had was, so that doesn't matter.

Going flat isn't a manufacturing defect per se. Also, in order to bring an action of manufacturing defect (distinct from design defect), you're going to need some pretty expensive expert testimony. They have to prove that the defect was present when the item left the manufacturer, and there has to be bodily injury.

Defective tire litigation is in fact quite common, though.

The Gov't standard isn't a bar to claim for manufacturing defect. (It can be in some narrow design defect scenarios, specifically relating to FMSS standards or medical devices)

The rationale is pretty simple. No product comes of the line 100% defect free. It just doesn't happen. The idea is that the manufacturer should pay for injuries caused by that x% that come of the line defective as it's cost of business. It makes sense. they make money off of that product, and holding them responsible for shoddy workmanship isn't a very controversial concept.

Whether or not this tire was defective is what trial would be about. If it was Michelin will and should pay. If it turns out this guy was just a dumbass and didn't maintain his shit properly, then they won't.

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:57 PM

 
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ah, ok. So the goal would be to prove flaw on manufacturer aspect (and would be true because no manuf. plant on earth tests every single item going out the door) and to reduce the focus (plaintiff wise) from user fault, correct?

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:07 PM
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I have a friend that does failure analysis for litigation. He is VERY busy, gets BIG bucks. People are always suing gun, car, electrical, etc, manufacturers.
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2010, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoparBoyy View Post
yep.. sounds like a lawsuit for a quick cash grab.

if these tires were defective, how come no one else has had an issue.
Happened to me, just last month, and it was a Michelin PP 2ct, too. After just a few hundred miles, my rear tire split horozontally across the tread. I told the place where I bought it, and their Michelin rep had me send it right back for a new tire. The store rep said, "I think there was a bad batch or something". Gee, that's great. Sounds like a bit more than just 'bad things happen sometimes".

I'm not a sue-happy MF'er, but if my meticulously-kept bike had a tire burst for no reason and I got killed because of it, you're damn right I'd want my wife and kids to get a shitload of $$ from them for their lives being affected forever because of it. If it was your spouse, and they just lost control in the middle of the street for no reason, and died because of that, would you just say "shit happens sometimes"?

There's a lot of bullshit lawsuits out there, and a lot of dirtbag attorneys out there, too (I deal with many almost every day, no offense, Rob), but it's surely possible this could be legit.

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2010, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWRMAD View Post
Happened to me, just last month, and it was a Michelin PP 2ct, too. After just a few hundred miles, my rear tire split horozontally across the tread. I told the place where I bought it, and their Michelin rep had me send it right back for a new tire. The store rep said, "I think there was a bad batch or something". Gee, that's great. Sounds like a bit more than just 'bad things happen sometimes".

I'm not a sue-happy MF'er, but if my meticulously-kept bike had a tire burst for no reason and I got killed because of it, you're damn right I'd want my wife and kids to get a shitload of $$ from them for their lives being affected forever because of it. If it was your spouse, and they just lost control in the middle of the street for no reason, and died because of that, would you just say "shit happens sometimes"?

There's a lot of bullshit lawsuits out there, and a lot of dirtbag attorneys out there, too (I deal with many almost every day, no offense, Rob), but it's surely possible this could be legit.
Damn skippy. If a defective product kills someone (whether it caused the death here is an issue that needs to be proven), the manufacturer should pay. Why should an innocent purchaser have to cover that loss?

If you're going to take the profit that comes with a selling a product, you have to be responsible when your defective product causes death or injury. That's the cost of doing business.



And none taken.

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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2010, 09:53 AM
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Well this should be a simple one. It will/would be VERY easy to show a tire failure with the actual tire from the incident. There should be absolutely no question what happened with the tires. Manufacturer defects would be very different from a flat/blow out/excessively worn upon inspection.

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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2010, 11:14 AM
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i never met greg but his parents live near my folks

i met his father last year when i bought a KTM duke that greg owned

although hurt by the loss of his son he maintained a positive attitude about a terrible situation as he rode when he was younger

i believe Kim is Gregs sister

Greg was well known in the HD community as "Gringo"

he rode a very clean anniversary edition full dresser

he had 2 Buells, one was a track bike

he had a nice KTM Duke II that i bought and rode for a year

i think he rode dirt too, and raced, from what his father told me

all anybody knows is what arch posted from the witness account

and whatever the bike and its tires tell, we dont know

just remember he was one of us
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