Trek and Shimano facing legal claim of $2m after cyclist ‘impaled’ by brake lever

Lawsuit alleges 17 counts, including negligent design

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A man in the US has brought a legal case against Trek and Shimano after his bike’s brake lever impaled his thigh in a crash. 

Rhode Island resident Timothy Lynch is suing the two companies for negligent design and is seeking $2million (£1.6million) in damages. 

The plaintiff has filed a case with the US District Court for the District of Rhode Island, detailing the allegations and demanding a jury trial. 

The filing says: “This action is instituted by Plaintiff for damages that arise from serious impalement and laceration bodily injuries suffered by Plaintiff which were caused by a defective Shimano V-Brake lever on a Trek bicycle.”

According to the alleged facts, Lynch bought a Trek road bike in early 2017, equipped with Shimano V-brake levers that were “metallic with a thin end”. 

He was then involved in a crash while riding with his wife in June 2022, and, as he fell, the brake lever “impaled his left thigh and tore a twelve-inch long laceration deep into his left thigh”. 

As a result of his injury, Lynch was transferred to Rhode Island Hospital, where he stayed for 10 days. He underwent three surgeries and a skin graft, and says he has now been left with “permanent numbness” and “visible scarring” in his left thigh. 

The lawsuit alleges that both Trek and Shimano provided “improperly designed” products that led to the plaintiff suffering serious bodily injury. It adds that Trek “failed to inspect and assess the safety of the V-Brake for end users before installing it”. 

An example of Shimano V-Brake lever

An example of a Shimano V-Brake lever

(Image credit: Shimano)

The case brings 17 counts against the defendants, and also alleges breach of warranty and failure to warn. 

Lynch is seeking a compensatory sum of $2million in damages to cover “medical bills, scarring and disfigurement, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium”. 

The lawsuit was filed on 29 January against Trek Bicycle Corporation and Shimano North American Holding Incorporated and has since been assigned to a judge. It is unknown at this stage whether it will go to trial. 

A spokesperson from Shimano told Cycling Weekly that the brand does not comment on any open investigations or lawsuits. Cycling Weekly also contacted Trek for comment on the allegations.  

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