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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:30 pm 
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sure you can, call Claims Direct if they are still going

:D

I don't see the problem with sueing for compensation if a manufacturing defect causes injury, liability insurance is included in the price you pay,


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:44 pm 
The Guv'nor
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amt27 wrote:
I don't see the problem with sueing for compensation if a manufacturing defect causes injury, liability insurance is included in the price you pay,


Can you substantiate the bit about liability insurance?

Think the point here has to be how can one deicde it's a manufacturing defect after 3 years! If the bar had snapped on the way home for the shop there may have been a case. A lot can happen in three years, crashes, fatigue etc etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:01 pm 
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John wrote:

Can you substantiate the bit about liability insurance?


Well pretty much every company has some sort of public liability insurance to cover themselves in these circumstances (IANAL but it may even be the law to have this insurance).
So the cost of that insurance to the retailer or distributor/importer is costed into the price of the product before profit is added.
Otherwise the company sued would go into liquidation and the person sueing would get nothing. Therefore you as a consumer are paying for the insurance.

John wrote:
Think the point here has to be how can one deicde it's a manufacturing defect after 3 years! If the bar had snapped on the way home for the shop there may have been a case. A lot can happen in three years, crashes, fatigue etc etc.


It is possible for an engineer to tell if a handlebar broke from a manufacturing defect or a previous riding incident or misuse. We covered a few bike bits in a materials selection module last term in my degree course.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:12 pm 
The Guv'nor
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amt27 wrote:
It is possible for an engineer to tell if a handlebar broke from a manufacturing defect or a previous riding incident or misuse. We covered a few bike bits in a materials selection module last term in my degree course.


Also did a fair few materials science type courses as part of my Engineering degree (a long time ago!). Assume one would have to study the crystalline structure of the aluminium in some manner (electron microscope??) in order to decide if the fault was pre-existing. Not sure how one would differentiate a fault from manufacturing with a fault from fatigue. Is this something you looked at as part of your course?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:36 pm 
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John wrote:
Is this something you looked at as part of your course?


No we didn't go that indepth, it was a short module, part of a Product Design degree,

we had an example of a campag crank fast fracturing due to a small nick in the arm and an aluminium seatpost doing the same due to corrosion under some insulation tape the rider used as a height marker,

it could be something as simple as a section of the handlebar having a thinner wall causing the failure, or even the handlebar being inappropriately designed for the loads it would be subject to,
the report is also a bit sketchy on detail and it could even be the stem and problem there, a welding issue maybe,

would be nice to get some more details,


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:00 pm 
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The length of warranty is irrelevant here. Fit for purpose is the issue. It is reasonable for a judge to believe a £1300 bicycle should remain fit for purpose after 3 years. The judge appears to believe that all critical components of such a bike should remain fit for purpose for a reasonable time, apparantly longer than 3 years in this case. Bars aren't generally considered wear and tear items (despite what we all know about some of the more lightweight offerings out there), so the fact these broke after 3 years means they must (in the judges eyes) have had a manufacturing defect, not simply that a tube of metal can't withstand repeated stress over a prolonged period. However, i doubt that any of the documentation supplied with the bike states this, nor can it be determined by any test a consumer could readily undertake (ie just by looking).

The shop (as the importer) has been held liable as they accept some form of representation for the manufacturer as part of their import license/agreement in the eyes of UK law (i assume).

TBH if it were me or a member of my family i would persue any avenue to ensure the financial security of my family due to the additional cost of care and the loss of future earnings. You can only pose the question, the judge is there to make a ruling. I defy anyone not to do the same in this situation.

EDIT: But you are right about the Helmet thing. The barrister must have demonstrated to the judge that his client had taken all reasonable precautions to ensure his own safety. This means wearing a helmet, having the bike regularly serviced etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:11 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Tallpaul wrote:
The length of warranty is irrelevant here. ............ I defy anyone not to do the same in this situation.


Nicely put Paul - I agree!

(Note - my business has very high public liability costs due to the services we provide, but insurance is there for a purpose. ATB Sales did not pay out - the underwriters who covered their risk did. I also used to work for Lloyds of London :oops: )


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:14 pm 
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MadCowKev wrote:
Tallpaul wrote:
The length of warranty is irrelevant here. ............ I defy anyone not to do the same in this situation.


Nicely put Paul - I agree!

(Note - my business has very high public liability costs due to the services we provide, but insurance is there for a purpose. ATB Sales did not pay out - the underwriters who covered their risk did. I also used to work for Lloyds of London :oops: )


as this was heard at a high court this must have been a civil case, therefore the money would be compensation not a fine. So yes, it would be covered under their liability insurance.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:24 pm 
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Tallpaul wrote:
The length of warranty is irrelevant here. Fit for purpose is the issue.


Not sure about this, that is Sale Of Goods Act stuff. Fit for purpose, reasonable quality and as described.

He won under the Consumer Protection Act, which considers other factors:
" A court would take into account:
* the way in which the product was marketed
* any instructions or warnings coming with the product
* what might reasonably expect to be done with it
* the time that the producer supplied the product."
Referenced from - http://www.winters.co.uk/factsheets/con ... ction.html some good info there.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:29 pm 
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amt27 wrote:
Tallpaul wrote:
The length of warranty is irrelevant here. Fit for purpose is the issue.


Not sure about this, that is Sale Of Goods Act stuff. Fit for purpose, reasonable quality and as described.

He won under the Consumer Protection Act, which considers other factors:
" A court would take into account:
* the way in which the product was marketed
* any instructions or warnings coming with the product
* what might reasonably expect to be done with it
* the time that the producer supplied the product."
Referenced from - http://www.winters.co.uk/factsheets/con ... ction.html some good info there.


Perhaps we are arguing semantics here. I'm no lawyer so am not quoting regulation or legislation. But i read 'the way in which the product was marketed' and 'what might reasonably expect to be done with it' As being the same as fit for purpose. Simply that the bike was sold as a mountain bike and should safely perform that function for a reasonable period, the expiration of warranty does not mean the bike becomes unsafe.

In any circumstance, it is only the interpration of this judge that counts not ours :) Dangerous precedent for all bike shops/manufacturers though...


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