Motor scooter fatality blamed on deflated tire

Kelly Holleran May 15, 2012, 3:55am

A man has filed suit against the manufacturers and sellers of a motor scooter that he claims was produced with the wrong size tire, which resulted in an accident in which his wife died.

Chris Holly claims he and his wife, Dawn Marie Holly, were riding on a motor scooter traveling north on Fisher Road in Clinton County near its intersection with Hazlet Park Road on May 22, 2010, when the rear tire on the bike deflated. In turn, Chris and Dawn Marie Holly were thrown from the motor scooter, according to the complaint filed May 2 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Due to the collision, Dawn Marie Holly suffered a severe skull fracture and was killed while Chris Holly's right ear was severed, the suit states. Chris Holly also sustained a concussion and disfigurement to his face, experienced an injury to his right shoulder, endured pain and suffering and incurred medical costs of more than $26,000, the complaint says.

In the complaint, Chris Holly says the bike's manufacturers allowed the bike to travel at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour, but included tires on the bike that were safe at speeds of only up to 45 miles per hour.

"That, as a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid negligent acts of the defendants, the rear tire became severely worn after only five thousand miles of use and failed," the suit states.

Chris Holly names JMP Cycle and Hobby, which sold the 2009 QLink Commuter 250 motor scooter, and QLink, which manufactured the bike, as defendants. Other defendants include Turinar, which was a partner with QLink; Chain Rail Group Corp, which distributed the bike for sale; CFMOTO Powersports, which assembled the bike; ChunFeng Holding Group Hangshou Motorcycles Manufacturing, HS Motos, Chongqing Huansong Industries, Chongqing Huansong Syton, Chongqing Huansong Motorcycle Sales and Hisun, which distributed the motor scooter.

The tire's manufacturers -- Cheng Shen Rubber Ind., Cheng Shin Rubber doing business as Maxxis International-USA, Maxxis International USA, Maxxis International Taiwan, Maxxis Tech Center USA, Toyo Tire USA, Toyo Tire Holdings of America, Toyo Tire North America and Toyo Tire North America OE Sales -- are also named as defendants.

The motorcycle and tire defendants negligently allowed the motorcycle to be designed and to contain a tire that had insufficient hardness and durability, failed to warn Chris Holly not to operate the bike at more than 45 miles per hour, failed to warn of dangerous conditions, placed a tire on a bike that was faster than the tire was capable of handling, failed to comply with the manufacturing standards of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and placed a tire on the bike that failed to comply with the standards of the Tire and Rim Manufacturers Association, the complaint says.

Chris Holly will be represented by Ross T. Anderson of East St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-580.

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