Harley-Davidson, two dealers sued for alleged bike defects

Publish Date: 
Jun 28, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.V. – A couple has filed a lawsuit against Harley-Davidson and a dealer claiming they were injured because of an allegedly defective motorcycle.

Named as defendants in the suit are New River Gorge Motorsports LLC, which is doing business as New River Gorge Harley-Davidson; Harley-Davidson of West Virginia Inc., which is doing business as New River Gorge Harley-Davidson Shop; and Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Inc. 

The couple, Vinard and Lois Lawson, allege in their suit that a 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle they bought from New River Gorge malfunctioned and caused them injuries.

The couple was riding the bike on Aug. 20, 2011, on Highway 19 when, they said, it began to rattle, but when they slowed down the rattle stopped, according to the West Virginia Record.

The Lawsons claim they stopped at the intersection of Highway 19 and Highway 60. When they pulled out, they said they went through three gears and then felt no resistance in the clutch. They said they continued riding to the dealership, hoping the parking lot would give them enough room to use the kill switch and brake to a stop. Instead they ran out of runway and turned into a bay door. They said they were able to shut off the bike, but that it lurched and fell over, breaking Lois Lawson’s leg and leaving Vinard Lawson with scrapes and bruises.

The Lawsons claim an examination of the motorcycle turned up a separation of components associated with the clutch and other defects.

They are claiming breached of express and implied warranties, and product liability for designing, manufacturing, assembling, testing, providing with warnings, marketing, distributing, selling, servicing, repairing, maintaining and/or otherwise placing the motorcycle into the stream of commerce in an unreasonably dangerous, defective and unfit condition for its ordinary and intended use, according to the suit.

The Lawsons are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Posted by Holly Wagner