Complex Litigation

Bell Helmets Defeats Appeal of Defense Verdict in Quadriplegic Trial


The New Jersey Appellate Division unanimously upheld a defense verdict achieved by Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park & Kelly in Lawson v. Bell Sports. The Court affirmed numerous evidentiary and procedural rulings made by the trial court.

Carl Lawson was mountain biking when he lost control of his bicycle and flipped over the handlebars. He landed on his head and sustained quadriplegic injuries. He was wearing a Bell helmet at the time of the accident. The plaintiffs alleged that the bicycle helmet's tapered rear design was dangerous because it could both constrain and create rotational forces when impacted. Plaintiffs claimed that the tapered design caused plaintiff's quadriplegic injury. On April 7, 2015, the jury unanimously rejected these claims and returned a unanimous verdict for Bell Helmets.

This result continues the firm’s run of victories in helmet and recreational vehicle cases with high damage potential.

Jason Schmitz argued the appeal. Robert Kelly, James Ughetta, and Jason Schmitz tried the case on behalf of Bell Helmets.