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https://www.bicycleretailer.com/ind...ized-10-million-helmet-product-liability-case

As much as a tiny bit of me likes to see Specialized get the crap sued out of them (because they sue at the drop of a hat), this lawsuit is bullshit.

Mr. XXL crashes, admittedly his own fault, and hits his head. Because he sustained injuries, he sues for $10 Million. Hey dude, you'd probably be dead if you weren't wearing the helmet.

Part of his claim apparently is that Specialized sold him a helmet without MIPS, therefore they are at fault. That is like someone suing Toyota becasue their Tacoma doesn't have the same airbags as a Lexus. Hey Mr. XXL wad, you could have spent a little more and bought a helmet with MIPS, right? But you didn't. My heart bleeds.
 

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Up In Smoke
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I'm sure specialized has a good legal team to handle this. Just give the guy a new eBike and move on with it.
 

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that reads like this guy's insurance company pressured him to file suit.

MIPS has never made claims about protecting against skull fractures. Hell, I encountered a guy a few days ago who had crashed and only slightly dented his TLD A1 MIPS but had a VERY obvious concussion. MIPS never claimed to prevent all concussions, either (this guy said this wasn't his first concussion, so I'd guess he can get a concussion pretty easily at this point), just to reduce the chances of them in certain types of impacts.

I'm going to guess that the main goal here is to get Spesh to settle the case, and with as much practice as Specialized's lawyers get, I'd hope that they'd be confident in their ability to fight this one. There can be some pretty huge implications industry-wide if they settle this, so I hope they fight it for those reasons, too.
 

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This not really bike related even though it all about bikes. It is case of "does the product meet government/industry standards" Like many products a helmet is made to meet certain standards. If the helmet design or the actual helmet in the crash failed to meet those standards the Manufacturer is on the hook. If meets those standards then it much harder to find fault unless the product was advertised to "exceed" standards. Then it is more difficult because there is no clear legal definition of "exceed". It could be that this particular produced failed to meet it internal quality control standards and cause more injury than should have. Or it was meeting all of the internal design standards and those standards are in fact more stringent than industry. So while about bikes is really a more common case as lots of products have this similar liability.

It not as simple as "I crashed and it is bike's fault! Specialized owes me!" That I would be more worried about since there is less legal precedent, but in this case I think there is much more extensive legal background on both sides. Still can't say who wins or if it settles. I can say the big winners will be the lawyers. They will get paid some how from this.
 

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This seems like a slam dunk for specialized based on this:

"Mr. Moreno bought the helmet because it was one of the few designed to fit his head and because he trusted that it would keep him safe during typical bicycle accident scenarios," he said in the complaint filed in June. He is being represented by Dormer Harpring, LLC, a Denver law firm that specializes in personal injury litigation.

All they need to prove is that his crash is not a typical bicycle accident scenario. Heck I have been riding for multiple decades and I have never over cooked a corner much less hard enough to hit my head, much less hard enough to hit my head hard enough to fracture my skull. I would say that this is not a typical accident. I assume they can ask for strava info and if he was going what could be determined to be faster than conditions allow, then he would not be in a typical accident scenario. I mean, if his helmet caused this damage because he fell over when unclipping at a light, or if it happened when he got doorer, or it happened when a pedestrian walked in front of him, I think he could argue that this was a typical accident scenario, but overcooking a corner is definitely not a typical issue for the average cyclist.
 

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I always thought MIPS was to help the outer shell of the helmet shift when the helmet slides on the ground in the event of a crash...and not to protect from impacts.
 

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hmmmm who knew frivolous lawsuits could be a two-way street? Don't worry - these guys have experience in how meritless litigation can be used to leverage some other outcome. Mike S is probably trying to work an angle, as we speak, to join the suit and squeeze MIPS.
 

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It is case of "does the product meet government/industry standards"
very true. In the reading I did not too terribly long ago, one topic oft-addressed by researchers was that larger sized helmets are less protective against impacts than smaller-sized helmets. This appeared to be true for both bicycle helmets AND motorcycle helmets. Yet in all cases, said larger sized helmets still met the relevant standards.

It begs the question of whether the certification standards are rigorous enough. But that's not the manufacturer's fault. There's a point at which a helmet that meets higher standards will be passed by customers. Especially for a bicycle helmet. Too bulky. Not breathable enough. Too heavy. Ugly. Restricts vision. Doesn't fit the same. Too expensive. The list goes on.

We already see it. People don't wear downhill full face helmets for xc riding because they're too bulky or too hot. People buy the non-MIPS versions of certain helmets because of fit. TONS of people choose the non-MIPS versions of many helmets because they're usually cheaper. People pass on other helmets with technology that attempts to make the helmet safer because of cost.

I think the danger of setting precedents is with settling the case. If the helmets are legitimately sub-standard, then I want that to be brought out in court publicly to hold Specialized accountable for it. That's a GOOD precedent to set. It's also a good precedent to set if the helmet DID meet the standards, by letting the whole thing play out in the courts, because it puts more of a damper on insurance companies and injury lawyers pressuring people to file a suit anytime there's an injury. If Specialized just pays out to make the guy shut up, it might cost less in the long run, but it'll serve as encouragement for ambulance chasers to go after every single helmet company anytime someone gets hurt while wearing a helmet in hopes of getting a settlement just by filing some scary-sounding paperwork.
 

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I always thought MIPS was to help the outer shell of the helmet shift when the helmet slides on the ground in the event of a crash...and not to protect from impacts.
yup. MIPS will never protect you from a skull fracture.
 

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...but overcooking a corner is definitely not a typical issue for the average cyclist.
i don't know about that. plenty of people don't slow down enough before a turn and have to swing it wide. this guy did the same and went wide enough to go off the other side of the street. seems like a normal roadie accident to me...
 

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The defendant has no obligation to prove anything in a lawsuit. It is the plaintiff's burden to prove his case.
No I understand that but in defense it would not be easy to ask what a typical bike accident is. Would they pull records and indicate what the most common bike accidents are? Bet the majority of them are impacts from cars and going over the bars over lime scooters. and being hit by people on scooters.
 

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i don't know about that. plenty of people don't slow down enough before a turn and have to swing it wide. this guy did the same and went wide enough to go off the other side of the street. seems like a normal roadie accident to me...
But is it typical? That is the crux of Mr XXL's claim. Seems super vague but also threatening to us that wear helmets. What if they win this and bike helmet manufacturers then have to decide if their helmets meet the criteria of protecting during typical accidents, that include a large man slamming his head sideways on the group and splitting his skull open? Helmets will get a lot heavier, a lot more expensive, because they will have to CYA when it comes to all kinds of impacts. This lawsuit doesn't bode well for helmet manufacturers. Loss of something like this could definitely lead to all of us wearing moto helmets. Or not. I am a little dramatic today. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We already see it. People don't wear downhill full face helmets for xc riding because they're too bulky or too hot. People buy the non-MIPS versions of certain helmets because of fit. TONS of people choose the non-MIPS versions of many helmets because they're usually cheaper. People pass on other helmets with technology that attempts to make the helmet safer because of cost.
Another major reason people choose one helmet over another? Looks.

I have started wearing a Bell Super DH on all of my rides, and I commute several times a week, and do long road rides as well as mountain bike. It has a removable chin bar, and guess what? I only use the chin bar when I go to a bike park. Honestly, it doesn't get in the way or cause the helmet to be any more uncomfortable. It just isn't the norm when riding on the road or even XC mountain biking. If I ever fall on my face, I'll regret not having the chin bar, but I'll probably keep riding without it - except at the bike park.

I should sue Bell for making the chin bar removable.

Honestly, it looks a little "different" to be using this helmet on a road ride, even without the chin bar, but I don't have to look at myself. I really like the way it fits, and for a big, bulky helmet, the ventilation is very good.

Back to the lawsuit, no helmet is going to save you from a bad crash, and I believe every helmet I'm ever seen has stickers and/or tags with that legalese. I saw a girl at Winter Park crash so hard she cracked her full face in half and she was knocked cold for minutes. **** happens.
 

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it's a pretty normal scenario, there's even a common term for it. but i guess if you wanna argue semantics, no this crash wasn't typical as a typical crash doesn't fracture your skull...
This is the test for CPSC helmet certification.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/16/1203.17

It's pretty clear the kinds of forces they're testing for. With the kinds of injuries the guy suffered, I'm going to suspect that his head hit the ground with more force than the certs test for.
 

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I've never known one of these frivolous lawsuit people irl. If I did I would give them nonstop SH%T. Anyway, MIPS wasn't going to help with a skull fracture. That's just blunt force trauma right there.
 

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You can't say from reading the complaint and answer whether a lawsuit is frivolous or not. That's pure speculation.



Sounds like the guy has brain damage sufficient to affect his life and may be facing a lifetime of serious medical or care bills.

Everyone likes to assume that plaintiffs in these cases are money grubbing hoes. They might be; but it's just as likely that they are severely injured and they and their family are facing serious hardship and trying to figure out some way to get by.

Try a little empathy. At least reserve judgment.
 

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