I read about a case recently where a Washington state resident was riding his bicycle when the bike stopped suddenly, throwing him off the bike, over the handlebars and onto the road. He had purchased the bike about 3 weeks prior to this incident and had paid to have the bike assembled. An inspection determined that the bolt which connects the handlebars to the stem assembly was not tightened properly. Not surprisingly, his injuries were fairly serious and including a dislocated right shoulder.
Plaintiff recovered at trial against the independent contractor who was hired to assemble the bike. What interested me the most was that plaintiff was found 25% comparatively negligent because he had failed to test the bike before using it, even though there was a warning instructing him to do so.
The lesson in this case is that juries may find culpability against a product user if they conclude that a more diligent inspection of the product could have possibly avoided the accident.
Here at Harris & Associates, PC, we are happy to advise you with regard to your legal options; our first consultation will be free even if either of us decides not to proceed any further.