Wild Trak Bikes sued by injured rider claiming it negligently inspected bike

Andrea Dearden Apr. 19, 2012, 1:57am

A bicycle owner is asking for more than $100,000 after her bike allegedly fell apart the same day it was inspected and deemed as "safe" by the manager at an Alton bike shop.

Patty Lou Mitchell filed the complaint against Wild Trak Bikes Inc. and Jason Watkins on April 13 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Mitchell says she took a partially-assembled bicycle to the Wild Trak Bikes shop in Alton on June 4, 2010. She says she bought parts to complete the bike and requested those be added. Mitchell says she also asked that the handlebars be inspected because they were loose, according to the complaint.

The bike owner says she spoke directly with manager Jason Watkins who allegedly assured her a full inspection had been performed on the bike and that everything -- including the handlebars -- was safe. Mitchell says she paid $162 to Wild Trak Bikes with $25 of the charge listed as "safety check of bicycle" on the receipt.

Later that same day, Mitchell says she took the newly-inspected bicycle for a ride on the waterfront in Alton. During the ride, she says the handlebars disconnected from the bicycle, causing Mitchell to "flip forwards over the bicycle, landing on her face." She says the crash cause serious injuries including a torn meniscus in her knee that required a total knee replacement to repair. Mitchell says she also had severe wounds and disfigurement to her face.

Mitchell contends Wild Trak Bikes and its manager, Watkins, were negligent for representing the bicycle as safe. She says she relied upon their expertise and trusted their alleged statement that the bike was safe to ride. Mitchell is asking to be awarded more than $100,000 for medical expenses, pain and mental anguish, lost wages and disability.

Attorney John C. Webster of Alton is representing Mitchell.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-465

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