A Cook County jury has found in favor of Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Group Inc., Illinois Harvey-Davidson Sales Inc. and Nissin Brake Ohio Inc. after the death of a husband and wife who were killed in a motorcycle accident on May 23, 2006.
The husband and wife, G.R. and S.R., were traveling northbound on Houbolt Road in Joliet, Ill., on a green light when a southbound car driven by an uninsured motorist made a left turn in front of them to access the eastbound Interstate 80 entrance ramp. A collision occurred that killed both G.R. and S.R.
The husband was operating a 2005 Harvey-Davidson 1200R Sportstar Motorcycle. He sustained multiple traumatic injuries and died a short time later in the emergency room. His wife, age 57, died at the scene of the crash. The couple had no children.
The family brought a product liability suit under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and Survival Act alleging that the front brakes of the motorcycle assembly were defective. The family also claimed that the design and the way the brakes were lubricated caused the brakes to seize or lock, preventing G.R. from being able to stop the bike and avoid the crash.
The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. was the manufacturer of the motorcycle, while Nissin Kogyo manufactured the brake system and distributed them. The defendant, Illinois Harvey-Davidson Sales, was the dealership that sold the motorcycle.
All of the defendants argued at trial that the brakes worked fine and the sole proximate cause of the crash and resulting deaths was the left-turning car.
The demand to settle before trial was $9 million. In closing arguments, the attorney for the family of G.R. and S.R. asked for $5.85 million. The defendants’ offer, reported in the Jury Verdict Reporter, was $250,000 in total.
The jury found in favor of all of the defendants, except the uninsured motorist.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling catastrophic injuries, wrongful deaths, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents and automobile crashes for individuals and families for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Chicago (Austin), Stickney, Burbank, Palos Heights, Crestwood, Forest Park, Hinsdale, Calumet City, Bridgeview and Chicago (Andersonville), Illinois.
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