Nilan Johnson Lewis “Performance” Secures Trial Victory for Cycling Retailer

Nilan Johnson Lewis pedaled its way to a defense verdict for Performance, Inc., a leading bicycle mail order and retail company. In Mayer v. Rochester Fitness, Inc. et al., a jury in Olmsted County District Court found no fault on the part of Performance, Inc. following an accident at a health club in Rochester, Minn.

In 2003, a woman injured her tailbone during a spinning class at Northgate Health Club when one of the pedals on her Spinner bike broke off. The health club had purchased the pedal, intended and marketed for use on a mountain bike, from Performance, Inc., installed it on the Spinner bike, and failed to ensure it was tightly secured to the crank arm of the bike. Nilan Johnson Lewis presented evidence at trial that the looseness of the pedal caused the axle to fracture over time. Eight years following the accident, the plaintiff claimed to have lower back and pelvic pain, which she attributed to the tailbone injury.

The plaintiff filed suit against Performance, Inc., as well as the manufacturer of the pedal, Wellgo Pedals Corp., and Northgate Health Club, seeking damages in the neighborhood of $1 million. The seven-member jury ultimately awarded damages in the amount of $10,000 for past medical expenses and pain and suffering, placing all of the fault for the accident on Northgate Health Club and finding Performance, Inc. not negligent.

Securing favorable rulings on key evidentiary motions, the Nilan Johnson Lewis legal team led by Brian Johnson and Megan Kelley was able to tailor the evidence that would be presented to the jury throughout the six-day trial. In addition, Nilan Johnson Lewis convinced the jury that the medical evidence didn’t support the plaintiff’s claimed injuries. “We had a number of key pieces of evidence on our side,” said Kelley. “Ultimately, this was a misuse of a client product. Not only was the pedal intended for a different type of bike, it had been improperly secured and maintained.”

The Performance, Inc., victory continues a run of key trial wins for Nilan Johnson Lewis over a one-week period.

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