Posted On: August 29, 2007 by Mark R. McKenna

Illinois Jury Finds Motorcycle Tire Was Defective; Awards $15 Million to Brain Injured Woman

A federal jury in Peoria, Illinois has awarded a South Carolina woman $15 million after finding that a tire on the motorcycle she was riding had a defect which resulted in a fall and severe brain damage. As reported by Andy Kravetz in the Peoria Journal-Star, the jury deliberated over two days before deciding that defendant Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd. was liable for the May, 2002, incident on Interstate 55 in Livingston County, Illinois.

The plaintiff, Trish McCloud,

[W]as riding back to her home in Michigan from a bike rally in St. Louis when the tire deflated. The driver of the motorcycle lost control and crashed. The bike flipped and McCloud struck her head on the pavement.

The driver was hurt, but the extent of his injuries was not as severe as McCloud's.

Though she was wearing a helmet, the impact was so great that it caused severe brain damage, according to court records. She was treated at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center for two months, where she was in and out of a coma.

The plaintiff now suffers from paralysis and requires constant care. Her attorneys argued that Goodyear Dunlop made the motorcycle tire with a defect that caused it to fail prematurely. At trial, Goodyear Dunlop claimed the incident was caused by tire underinflation as well as excessive weight on the motorcycle.

Even though the case was tried in federal court, Illinois state product liability law would apply to the the case.

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