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WA Court of Appeals Rules Holds REI Responsible in Product Liability Lawsuit

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The Washington Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Recreational Equipment Inc. must take responsibility for any defective product sold by the company, regardless of the manufacturer.

According to court documents, Monika Johnson filed a lawsuit against REI in 2007 after she was thrown face down onto the sidewalk when a carbon-fiber bicycle fork suddenly broke while she was riding down Fifth Avenue in Seattle. Johnson sustained a head injury, a broken jaw, the loss of four teeth, and severe abrasions in the accident, the lawsuit said.

Attorneys for REI argued that the bicycle frame’s manufacturer, not REI, should be held responsible for any defects in the product. Johnson’ s lawsuit claimed that under state products liability laws, REI was responsible because it had branded the Novara-manufactured product as its own.

The Court of Appeals sided with Johnson in a ruling announced Monday. REI spokesperson Megan Behrbaum said it was too early for the company to determine whether it would seek review of the case by the state’s Supreme Court.

If you have been injured by a defective recreational vehicle, please contact the Appleton Recreational Vehicles Lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, by calling 800-242-2874.