Pettit Kohn Secures Defense Verdict for Trek Bicycle Corporation in Product Liability Case

PRESS RELEASE: Pettit Kohn Secures Defense Verdict for Trek Bicycle Corporation in Product Liability Case

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC, a prominent civil litigation firm headquartered in San Diego, obtained a defense verdict on behalf of Trek Bicycle Corporation.

Santa Ana, CA, June 17, 2014: An Orange County jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Trek Bicycle Corporation in the product liability case Eric Richard Koff vs. Trek Bicycle Corporation (Case No. 30-2012 00602533). After 12 days of testimony and deliberation the jury found that Trek’s 16-spoke Bontrager Race X Lite Aero front wheel was soundly designed, and not defective as alleged by the plaintiff.

Bruce Brusavich, a well-known trial lawyer with more than 100 jury trials to his name, argued that Mr. Koff sustained serious personal injury due to defects in the design of the 16-spoke wheel purchased at a Trek Super Store in Vista, Calif. Plaintiff Eric Koff claimed that the front wheel of his bike “collapsed” during a ride in Newport Beach due to design defects, resulting in a pitch-over event, in which Mr. Koff suffered serious, multiple, comminuted LeFort III facial fractures, and other injuries. Mr. Koff’s counsel implored the jury to award $3.4 million dollars for general damages due to the seriousness of the injuries, residual vision impairment, and the alleged, residual cognitive deficit. Mr. Koff required total reconstructive surgery of the facial bones on the right side of his face, and three additional surgeries to reposition his eye, and to correct double vision problems.

Andrew Kohn and Lauren Bates, trial counsel from Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC, mounted the successful defense on behalf of Trek Bicycle Corporation. At trial, Mr. Kohn presented extensive evidence on behalf of Trek regarding the soundness of the design, the thorough and rigorous in-house testing conducted by Trek, and the fact that Trek’s Bontrager Race X Lite Aero wheels are hand-built to demanding specifications. Trek rebutted plaintiff’s claims by demonstrating that a used, identical wheel was ridden with one spoke removed for more than 60 miles at speeds up to 43 mph without incident. Trek also presented convincing physical evidence that Mr. Koff’s incident occurred when a foreign object lodged between the spokes and the front fork.

Informal interviews with jurors after the verdict revealed that the jury concluded that the design of the wheel was not the cause of Mr. Koff’s injuries.

“This was a great win for Trek, which builds great cycling products, many of them by hand, in Waterloo, Wis.,” said Mr. Kohn. “Not many American manufacturers can make that claim, and even fewer go to the lengths demonstrated by Trek in this case to painstakingly design, build and test their products prior to introduction into the marketplace. Taking a case like Mr. Koff’s to trial against an experienced and skilled trial attorney, and which regrettably involved serious injuries to a person like Mr. Koff, demonstrated the depth of Trek’s conviction and belief in their product. That the jury agreed with Trek’s view of the soundness of the product is satisfying vindication of Trek’s commitment to quality.”

About Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC

Founded in 2006, Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC is a law firm committed to providing outstanding trial counsel for its clientele. The firm’s attorneys commit themselves to incorporating the client’s business concerns, goals and objectives. Doing so has generated both extraordinarily positive client relationships, and routinely successful results in the courtroom. Pettit Kohn’s attorneys provide experienced counsel in matters including Appellate, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation & Trials, Employment & Labor counseling and litigation defense, Personal Injury, Product Liability, Real Estate, Restaurant & Hospitality, Retail, Transactional & Business Services, and Transportation issues. The firm clients include professionals, small to mid-size firms, and Fortune 100 companies. Pettit Kohn services clients from offices in located in San Diego – 11622 El Camino Real, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92130; (858) 755-8500, and Los Angeles – 9841 Airport Boulevard, Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90045; (310) 649-5772. For more information about Pettit Kohn please visit


View the online press release here.