CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Leatt Corp. announced that it has prevailed in the first Leatt-Brace lawsuit to be tried in the United States.
After a two-week trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern) ending on April 17, a federal jury returned a defense verdict for Leatt in a product liability lawsuit brought by Scott Scarvelli and his parents, Tim and Sherri Scarvelli.
The Scarvellis had alleged that defective product design and failure to warn had caused Scott, a then 15-year-old motocross rider, to suffer multiple mid-thoracic spine fractures, causing immediate and permanent paraplegia, when he crashed at a relatively low speed on February 13, 2011. When the accident occurred, Scott was wearing a helmet and other safety gear from several different companies, including a Leatt-Brace.
Leatt countered that Scarvellis' thoracic paraplegia was an unavoidable consequence of his fall, not the result of wearing a Leatt-Brace, "and that the brace likely saved his life — or saved him from quadriplegia — by preventing cervical spine injury," the company stated.
The case was tried by Leatt national trial counsel, John L. Tate, Stites & Harbison PLLC of Louisville, Ky., assisted by Akron (OH) lawyers, Orville Reed and Jason Wiegand. Expert witnesses for Leatt included Erick Knox and Mitchell Garber, M.D., M.S. Mech. Eng., M.P.H., both with Engineering Systems Inc., and John Bodnar, M.D., medical director for U.S. professional supercross and motocross races.
From a press release. Posted by Mary Slepicka