Bicycles are a great way to travel and exercise. They are light-weight, efficient, and perhaps above all else, they are fun to ride. Technology and innovation have greatly improved bicycles in terms of both performance and design. What was once a glorified seat on two wheels is now a high-performance machine of sophisticated mechanical and industrial design.
Newer bicycle designs allow riders to go harder, faster and further than ever before. And both quality and durability are expected from all high-performing bikes. When there is a faulty design in construction, however, a rider can be seriously injured.
This was the case, unfortunately, with Kenneth Mercurio. Mercurio was riding his bicycle, along with over 100 other cyclists, along California’s Simi Valley one sunny day. Everything was going fine, until the front fork of Mercurio’s bicycle snapped. This caused him to tumble forward at a high speed, shattering multiple bones.
The front fork is the two-pronged portion of a bicycle that connects the bicycle’s frame to the front wheel and handle bars. It is crucial that the front fork be both durable and reliable, as it is often a point of great stress on the bike. Mercurio’s bike frame was made of carbon fiber, as are most high-end bicycles, and was supposed to be able to withstand any pressure exerted by its rider.
After his bicycle accident, Mercurio sued the bicycle’s manufacturer for selling him a defective product, which he argued directly caused his severe injuries. Due to the seriousness of his injuries, Mercurio was awarded $722,800 to cover his medical expenses, as well as his past and future pain and suffering.