Chicago Firefighter Blames Faulty Harley-Davidson For Crash - The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Chicago Firefighter Blames Faulty Harley-Davidson For Crash

Motorcycles are hardly the safest mode of transportation but bikers often acknowledge that and take their chances anyway. However, Chicago firefighter Jim McMahon claims a collision that left him paralyzed was the result of a defective Harley-Davidson, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The crash happened six years ago as he was riding his Harley on the Arizona interstate with some of his Chicago firefighter friends. The trial began earlier this week in a Cook County courtroom.

Scott Hooper, Jim McMahon's Chicago accident attorney, claims his client's motorcycle wobbled and weaved before it crashed and said it was the result of a defect in the product. He tried to implant the idea that the bike was defective during his opening statement to the jury:

"Companies that sell products that are unsafe are responsible for the harms and losses caused by an unsafe product."

But while Scott Hooper stated that the revered motorcycle company has acknowledged multiple incidents of its bikes "shaking violently" while in operation, defense attorney Mark Kircher blamed Jim McMahon for the spill. Specifically, he claimed the plaintiff failed to properly turn the motorcycle when he approached a turn in the road.

Mark Kircher attempted to appeal to the jury with Harley's storied history as a top-of-the-line U.S. based manufacturer, calling the company "an American success story" and Jim McMahon's bike in particular a "highly engineered product."

The crumpled motorcycle at the center of the case was parked in the courtroom for the trial. Jim McMahon, who was paralyzed from the waist down after the crash, was in a wheelchair.

He testified that he tried to slow down when the bike started shaking, then sped up a little in hopes of stopping the shaking. When asked by his Illinois injury attorney whether he was being attentive at the time, he replied, "Of course I was."

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