The Tokyo District Court has ordered bicycle importer Cycleurope Japan Co. to pay some ¥189 million in damages to Hiroshi Nakajima and an insurer after the 63-year-old was left disabled when his bike came apart and crashed.
Nakajima, his wife and the insurer have demanded the Tokyo-based company pay some ¥241 million in damages, saying the accident was caused by a flaw in the Italian-brand Bianchi bicycle. The accident left Nakajima’s hands and feet paralyzed.
The court on Monday ordered the company to pay about ¥150 million to Nakajima and ¥38 million to his insurance company. The court determined that a flaw in the bicycle caused the accident and that the company is liable for the injury under the Product Liability Law, as claimed by the plaintiffs.
The ruling upheld the plaintiffs’ claim that the accident happened when the front fork linking the bicycle’s frame and front wheel separated. The defendant has insisted that the bicycle had no defects and that the fork separated after Nakajima fell because a foreign object had become stuck in the front wheel.
The plaintiffs said the bicycle was made by a Taiwanese maker and there have been at least six similar accidents with bikes with the same kind of suspension.