October 25, 2023.  Partner Joseph Kaiser and Associate Attorney Davis Lackey won Summary Judgment on behalf of their client in the State Court of DeKalb County.

This case arose out of an incident that occurred on or about July 1, 2020 in which the Plaintiff alleged that he was riding his bicycle when the front wheel came off, causing Plaintiff to sustain serious injuries. The Plaintiff purchased the bicycle from a sporting goods store in April 2020.  A month later, on May 13, 2020 he took the bicycle to Mr. Kaiser and Mr. Lackey’s client’s bicycle shop BKLYN Tech Bicycles for a tune-up and a rear derailleur replacement.  Plaintiff contended that the Defendant was the only person to have worked on the bike or had possession of it other than himself, so the incident must have been the result of a faulty repair by BKLYN Tech.  Following the incident, the Plaintiff discarded the bicycle so it was unavailable for physical inspection.  Plaintiff brought claims based upon ordinary negligence, negligence per se and Res Ipsa Loquitor.

After conducting discovery and depositions, Mr. Kaiser & Mr. Lackey moved for summary judgment based upon the Plaintiff’s testimony that he did not inspect the subject bike for washers or safety washers on the front wheel when he purchased it, he did know if the safety washers were on the subject bicycle when he purchased it, he did not know if the subject bicycle required safety washers and he admitted that it is possible that the employees at the sporting goods store could have left off the safety washer or installed the bike incorrectly.  Plaintiff also testified that the first time he ever inspected his bike for safety washers was after the subject incident that occurred on July 1, 2020.   The Defendant testified that he been working on bicycles since 1993 and that safety washers did not have to be on the subject bicycle.  Based upon his inspection of the bicycle when it came into his shop there were no safety washers on the front wheel of the subject bicycle when he was working on it.   Further, after the tune-up and derailleur replacement, Defendant  test-rode the subject bike before calling Plaintiff to come and pick up his bike.

After considering all of the briefs filed by Mr. Kaiser & Mr. Lackey as well as opposing counsel and conducting oral arguments, Judge Wayne Purdom granted summary judgment in favor of Mr. Kaiser & Mr. Lackey’s client finding specifically that the claims of negligence per se brought under 16 CFR 1512 fail because the CFR only pertains to manufacturers of bicycles, not business repairing bicycles after they have been released to the consumer by the manufacturer.  Judge Purdom also found the claims of ordinary negligence were not supported by any evidence of negligence and that the Res Ipsa Loquitor claims were defeated by the plaintiff’s own testimony that six weeks had passed between the date the Plaintiff picked up his bike from BKLYN Tech and the date of the alleged incident.  Further Judge Purdom found that the Plaintiff’s claims on causation were unsupported by the evidence.

The case is Kevin Lamar Crawford v. BKLYN Tech Bicycles and Howard Dunbar, State Court of DeKalb County, CAFN 22A:02446-3.

Read more about Partner Joseph Kaiser here.

Read more about Attorney Davis Lackey here.

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