Manufacturer of Defective Motorbike Must Compensate Accident Victim

The Consumer Protection Act 1987 was used to bring a case by a surgeon who had sustained injuries due to the brakes of his motorbike seizing. He was awarded £40,000 in damages.

The surgeon bought the motorbike second hand with a mileage of under 4,000 when it was less than two years old. He sustained damage to two fingers on his left hand and a severely fractured wrist when, without warning, the brakes seized while he was riding. This posed difficulties with most aspects of his life, the most challenging being his job as a surgeon where nimble fingers are crucial.

The judge sought expert advice which revealed design and manufacturing errors had caused the accident. The braking system was corroding and the wrong material had been used in the actual production of the bike. There was no question that the manufacturer was liable under the Act and was ordered to pay damages of £43,986.

The manufacturer’s appeal to the High Court was rejected.  The motorcycle was up to date with its maintenance and servicing and there was corrosion that should not have been present.  The High Court found that the original judge was correct in finding that the braking system was defective in this case.

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