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Parents file wrongful death lawsuit against helmet companies

Safety advocates in Wisconsin and across the nation are watching after parents decided to file a lawsuit against three San Diego companies involved in the manufacture, importation and marketing of a bike helmet worn by a 17-year-old who died in an accident while practicing in New Mexico during a 2010 training run. Authorities reported that he suffered numerous injuries to his face and head, which resulted in brain damage. He was transported by air to a medical facility, where he died.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the helmet did not fulfill its promises to protect the wearer against serious injuries. The suit further charged that the helmet was defective and dangerous and did not meet reasonable expectations of safety standards required for "extreme" mountain biking. Although the helmet complied with the Consumer Products Safety Commission standards, the lawsuit alleged it did not afford the young man the needed protection against the elements in order to prevent his death.

The decision to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of a child could take time and consideration. Parents could have mixed feelings about pursuing civil action through legal channels. When parents think about their loss and how to proceed, they might feel overwhelmed by the situation.

While it's impossible to place a dollar value on a person's life, a personal injury attorney might be able to help clients arrive at an amount to request in a wrongful death claim stemming from a similar situation involving potentially dangerous products. The attorney might be able to investigate whether the manufacturer has a record of recalls or product complaints in order to secure fair and just compensation for the clients.

Source: Sangre de Christo Chronicle, "Family of cyclist in fatal 2010 Angel Fire crash files lawsuit", Jesse Chaney, June 13, 2013

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