Appellate Court Allows a Bicyclist Injured in a Race to Pursue a Taiwanese Bike Manufacturer in Illinois
There can be many different reasons why you are involved in a bicycle accident. Perhaps your accident was the fault of a negligent driver, a negligent property owner, or some shortcoming in your bicycle itself. Regardless of who is at fault, you need a knowledgeable Illinois bike accident lawyer fighting for you to make sure that yours is a solid case against all of those responsible for the harm you’ve suffered. If your case involves a defective bike, you may have to pursue multiple different defendants, some of whom may be based in far-off locations.
In one recent case, the plaintiff, Janet, was a woman from Illinois who intended to participate in The Register’s Great Bicycle Race Across Iowa. In preparation for the race, she took her Giant bicycle, which she purchased from an authorized Giant retailer in Illinois, to an Illinois shop (which was another authorized Giant retailer) for a tune-up and inspection.
Janet started but never finished the race across Iowa. During the event, the front fiber fork of the bicycle broke. This breakdown caused Janet to fall and suffer injuries. When you’re injured in a bicycle accident, there may be multiple different avenues for recovering the damages that you suffered. If your fall was a result of a path or route that was not properly maintained, you may be entitled to seek recovery from the owner or operator/manager of the bike path upon which you fell, as some Chicago bicyclists recently did.
In other situations, like Janet’s, the state of the vehicle, rather than the state of the path, was the problem. When that happens, again there may be multiple different approaches (to go along with multiple different defendants) that may be involved in properly pursuing your claim. In Janet’s case, she sued the business that sold her the bike, the business that inspected and tuned up the bike, and the manufacturer of the bicycle. The bicyclist’s complaint alleged that the bicycle she purchased was defective, that all of the defendants knew or should have known that it was defective, and that all of them were liable for the harm she suffered.
The bicycle manufacturer, a Taiwanese company, tried to escape potential liability, but the Illinois courts refused to dismiss it from the case. The Taiwanese company argued that the injured bicyclist couldn’t sue it in this state because it did not have the required minimum legal contacts with Illinois. The courts rejected that argument, concluding that the “regular and anticipated flow” of the company’s bicycles would lead to their being sold in Illinois. The manufacturer was also aware that its products were being marketed in Illinois. This all added up to the manufacturer meeting the “stream of commerce” theory that the U.S. Supreme Court has established as one way to meet the minimum contacts standard of jurisdiction.
Based upon this theory, Illinois courts had jurisdiction over the manufacturer, and the injured bicyclist was entitled to go forward with her Illinois lawsuit against all of the defendants.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, talk to the experienced Chicago motor vehicle accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been working with injured bicyclists for many years to aid them as they pursue those responsible for the harm they suffered. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Illinois Appeals Court Affirms Judgment and $1.8M Damages Award for Family of Deceased Bicyclist, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, July 13, 2017
Two Chicago-Area Bicyclists Win Appeals in Riding Trail Injury Cases, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 2, 2017