Surgeon Wins Compensation from Manufacturer of Defective Motorbike

A surgeon who was injured when the brakes on his motorbike seized and he was flung to the ground has had his award of damages upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Andrew Baker had bought the KTM Supermoto 990 second hand but it was under two years old and had less than 4,000 miles on the clock when the accident happened. He suffered a badly fractured wrist and damage to two of his fingers that made it difficult to carry out daily activities and impacted particularly on his work, which involves fine finger movements.

Mr Baker brought a claim against KTM Sportmotorcycle AG under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, claiming that the accident was the result of a serious defect in the motorbike.

A judge at Leicester Crown Court was satisfied, on the basis of expert evidence, that the accident was caused by corrosion in the braking system that arose through a design defect combined with faulty construction or the use of inappropriate materials. The manufacturer was strictly liable under the Act for the consequences of the accident and was ordered to pay Mr Baker £43,986 in damages.

KTM Sportmotorcycle appealed against that decision and lost. The Court of Appeal noted that the motorbike had been properly serviced and maintained. There was corrosion where there ought not to have been and the judge in the lower court was entitled to infer that there must have been a defect in the braking system of the particular motorbike.

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