Specialized being sued for $10m in helmet lawsuit

Victor Moreno suffered serious head injuries in 2016 crash and claims helmet did not protect him as it should have

Specialized Bicycle Components is being sued for $10 million by a Colorado man who claims that his cycle helmet failed to protect him when he came off his bike, sustaining serious head injuries.

Victor Moreno, aged 50, was left with a permanent brain injury when he crashed while cornering and also sustained a fractured skull and lacerated scalp, reports Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN).

The Denver resident was wearing a Specialized Max helmet, sized XXL, which he had bought from Wheat Ridge Cyclery the previous year. The range is specifically aimed at cyclists with larger heads.

He is being represented by personal injury lawyers Dormer Harpring, with his complaint, filed in June, stating: "Mr Moreno bought the helmet because it was one of the few designed to fit his head and because he trusted that it would keep him safe during typical bicycle accident scenarios.

The complaint states that the helmet was sold to Mr Moreno with the undertaking that it complied with relevant safety standards as well as what Specialized is claimed to have said were its “more rigid criteria.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the helmet “was not designed and manufactured such that it could comply with the requirements of its certifications and testing” – BRAIN notes that it does not go into detail about how it is claimed not to have met them – and that Specialized’s testing and manufacturing decisions “resulted in the helmet being cheap instead of reasonably safe during common bicycle accidents.”

It alleges that one of the decisions was that of not using Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS) technology, which seeks to counteract rotational forces and thereby try and prevent brain injuries, on the model of the helmet purchased by Mr Moreno.

> All you need to know about MIPS

Specialized filed a response last month denying the allegations.

Earlier this week, the US District Court in Denver rejected an application by both parties to prevent confidential trade information disclosed during the process from being made public.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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