Helmet manufacturer sued after motorcycle rider suffers brain injury following collision with SUV

Michelle Keahey Jun. 1, 2012, 4:00am


NEW ORLEANS - A motorcycle rider has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of his helmet claiming that ventilation holes in the helmet resulted in a weakened structured and allowed him to suffer a traumatic brain injury when he was involved in a motor vehicle collision with a sports utility vehicle.

Linus Adam Kowalewski filed suit against Hongjin Crown Corp., Hongjin Crow America Inc., and HJC America Inc. on May 11 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on May 14, 2011, while Linus Kowalewski was wearing an HJC CL-15 Cyclone helmet manufactured by the defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Kowalewski was traveling east on Terry Parkway in Gretna when a Lincoln Navigator turned left in front of his Suzuki motorcycle. He was unable to avoid the collision and he struck the right rear side of the Navigator.

Kowalewski suffered a traumatic brain injury in the collision and continues to suffer from cognitive function issues, memory problems, and chronic pain.

The defendants are accused of knowing that the Cyclone helmet was defective in the design, manufacture, marketing, assembly, inspection, and testing.

The helmet was designed with ventilation holes in the frontal portion of helmet that "dramatically weakened" the structure of the helmet.
The defendants are accused of failure to warn, negligence, and redhibition.

The plaintiff is asking the Court for an award of damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical disability, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, medical bills, attorney fees, court costs, and interest.

Kowalewski is represented by L. Eric Williams Jr. of Williams Law Office in Metairie and Richard J. Fernandez and Amber E. Cisney of Law Offices of Cisney in Metairie.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01202

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