By Jeremy Vishno and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Derby, Connecticut, an 11 year old boy had just received his first new bicycle for Christmas. It was a BMX style bicycle, with grinding bars and front handle bars that could spin completely around, allowing for all sorts of cool tricks. A special brake mechanism allowed the handle bars to spin completely around so that riders could perform “extreme” tricks while the front wheel is off the ground, such as a “bar spin.” Unfortunately, when the bicycle was assembled at the store that sold it to the boy’s mom, the brake cables were not properly attached to the discs above the wheel and below the handle bars. A few days of riding and the boy was ready to try some jumps with his friends. On his first jump, he flew only a short distance, but when he tried to stop the bicycle with the front brakes, nothing happened! The fence that loomed just ahead was too close for him to avoid, and he struck it head on. On impact, the boy’s body moved forward off his seat, striking the base of the handle bars, where the brake discs, hard steel plates, were located. This impact caused serious personal injuries: a severe laceration of the boy’s penis and scrotum, requiring immediate hospitalization, surgery and anti-biotics. A lawsuit was filed against the manufacturer, the toy store and the company that assembled the bicycle for the store.
When buying any children’s toy, it is important to know how it is to be properly used. Just as important, you should always check to ensure for yourself that the bicycle is working properly before allowing a child to ride it. And remember, child bicycle helmets are not only a good idea, in many states, they are a requirement. Connecticut Law requires that children 15 and under must wear an approved bicycle helmet whenever they ride.