Yukevich | Cavanaugh Announces Defense Verdict for Easton-Bell Sports

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According to the Los Angeles law firm Yukevich | Cavanaugh, the case of Jeffrey Sohn v. Easton-Bell Sports Inc. Case No. LC095289 (Los Angeles County Superior Court – Northwest District, Van Nuys Courthouse West) arose out of an accident that happened nearly three years ago in the Northern California city of Sunol. On Wednesday, a Los Angeles jury found that a popular Easton-Bell Sports helmet is not defective despite claims from a 60-year old plaintiff that the “Giro Pneumo” bicycle helmet failed to protect him from permanent and severe brain damage.

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I believe that that should send a message to both defendants and plaintiffs in similar cases.

According the law firm of Yukevich | Cavanaugh, five hours is all it took for a Los Angeles jury to find that a popular Easton-Bell Sports helmet is not defective despite claims from a 60-year old plaintiff that the “Giro Pneumo” bicycle helmet failed to protect him from permanent and severe brain damage. The verdict came in late afternoon yesterday, following a three week trial in the L.A. Superior Court in Van Nuys. The Jury found that the design of the Giro Pneumo helmet was not a substantial factor in causing there plaintiff’s brain injury.

According to the Los Angeles Superior Court, the case of Jeffrey Sohn v. Easton-Bell Sports Inc. Case No. LC095289 (Los Angeles County Superior Court – Northwest District, Van Nuys Courthouse West) arose out of an accident that happened nearly three years ago in the Northern California city of Sunol. Mr. Sohn was just completing an 85-mile ride when he wiped out and hit his head on the pavement. Though he was wearing the Giro Pneumo helmet at the time, he suffered a traumatic brain injury. As a result, Mr. Sohn alleged that he was no longer able to live a normal, active life, which once included cycling as a favorite activity.

Through his attorneys, Larry E. Coben and Raymond Paul Johnson, Mr. Sohn claimed that the Easton-Bell helmet was defective in its design. The plaintiff pointed to the helmet’s “RocLoc” system claiming it caused the helmet to rotate during the crash leaving the left side of his head completely unprotected.

The Los Angeles Superior Court ruled on Wednesday that defense counsel Jim Yukevich and Thomas Borncamp, of the law firm Yukevich | Cavanaugh, successfully argued to the jury that the plaintiff’s theory was impossible. They did this largely by highlighting evidence of the scratch patterns on the helmet and by attacking the testing methods used by plaintiff’s key expert witnesses. The defense also showed that Mr. Sohn was improperly wearing the helmet too high on his head, contrary to the manufacturer’s clear instructions.

“Our hearts certainly go out to Mr. Sohn and his family. But cases like this are of exceptional significance, because they demonstrate that, given a safe product and a coherent defense, most juries will exercise basic common sense despite their sympathies for the plaintiffs,” said Mr. Yukevich. “I believe that that should send a message to both defendants and plaintiffs in similar cases.”

Easton-Bell Sports has sold more than 400,000 Giro Pneumo helmets worldwide.

About Easton-Bell Sports

Easton-Bell Sports is a leading designer, developer and marketer of sports equipment and accessories that enhance athletic performance and protection. For more than 80 years, sports enthusiasts at all levels have selected Easton-Bell products for their innovative designs and advanced materials. The company's brands boast a number of "firsts," including the first football helmet to achieve the highest protective 5-STAR rating by Virginia Tech University, first aluminum arrow, bat and hockey stick shaft, and first protective cycling and auto racing helmets.

The company is headquartered in Van Nuys, California and has 34 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe & Asia.

About Yukevich | Cavanaugh

Yukevich | Cavanaugh specializes in the management, defense, and trial of products liability claims. The firm advises and defends manufacturers and distributors of a wide range of products, including automotive and motorcycle products, tires, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, heavy machinery and industrial equipment, and sporting goods. The firm, which has tried cases throughout the U.S., also has proven capabilities in advanced motions and appeals, regional case management coordination, jury research, crisis management, and alternative dispute resolution.

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Eliot Gikman
Yukevich | Cavanaugh
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