Tuesday, November 12

Suzuki Loses Appeal on Motorcycle Brake Failure


ATLANTA, Ga.–The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed a post-apportionment award of nearly $6.4 million to a couple for injuries the man suffered when the front brake of his Suzuki motorcycle failed.

The decision simultaneously turned aside the plaintiffs’ arguments that they should have been awarded the entire pre-apportioned verdict of $12.5 million.

The decision found that a series of well-meaning but mistaken rulings by Douglas County State Court Judge W. O’Neal Dettmering should void a previous verdict that awarded $12.5 million to Adrian Johns and his wife for injuries he suffered over the claimed failure of the GSX-R series front brake assembly that Suzuki recalled.    

“In the hospital before going into surgery, he did raise his right hand (which operates the front brake) and mumble ‘front brake, front brake,’ but that was excluded as hearsay,” Edwards said. “So, unlike Adrian Johns, he was unable to testify that he applied the brakes and the front brake failed.”

Lawyers for the plaintiff argued there was “overwhelming evidence” in the Johns case to support claims for product liability, negligent failure to warn and “inexcusable delays” in announcing the recall, which Suzuki allegedly announced several months after deciding it was necessary in order not to impact the summertime peak motorcycle buying season.

Johns’ wreck happened two months before Suzuki’s recall in October 2013. 

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David Kiley is Chief of Content for The BRAKE Report. Kiley is an award-winning business journalist and author, having covered the auto industry for USA Today, Businessweek, AOL/Huffington Post, as well as written articles for Automobile and Popular Mechanics.