Traditional quick release bike hubs pose a danger to children because the wheels may spontaneously fall off, causing disfiguring and serious injury. This fall, New Jersey may become the first state to enact a ban on quick-release bicycle hubs. The movement against the defective bike hubs is rooted in Marin County, California, where families of eight injured children filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart and the manufacturer of the bike hubs. Three of the injured children suffered serious brain injuries; others suffered broken bones, missing teeth, and severe cuts and bruises. Although the defendants prevailed, the Marin families are now appealing.
The Marin lawsuit has prompted improvements within the industry. Schwinn, Mongoose and Trek have all began using the “CLIX” hub, which ensures retention of the wheel even if it is not completely tightened. The lawsuit has also given rise to SHOK, a nation-wide consumer activist group organized to raise awareness on the dangers of the hubs and to seek redress from Wal-Mart.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.
Claude A. Wyle is a partner of Choulos Choulos, and Wyle, a San Francisco based law firm dedicated to representing clients who have been injured by the wrongful conduct of individuals, corporations, public entities, and businesses. Mr. Wyle also frequently sits as a Judge Pro Tem for the city and county of San Francisco.