Taiwan Bike Company Forced into San Diego Superior Court

Posted on March 11, 2019 by Matthew Paré

SAN DIEGO, CA, Sept. 21, 2018 – In a landmark decision today in the San Diego Superior Court a bike company in Taiwan, ADK Technology, Ltd., lost its motion to be dismissed from an ongoing personal injury lawsuit.  The company filed a motion to be dismissed due to an alleged lack of “personal jurisdiction,” but the judge, the Honorable Richard E.L Strauss denied the motion, and is forcing the company to file a response to the lawsuit by October 5, 2018.  

According to court papers the plaintiff Alan Mellor of Chula Vista sustained catastrophic life-changing injuries when his bicycle broke apart when he was riding it.  He fractured his clavicle in the incident in multiple places and required surgery.  Mr. Mellor alleges that he still has not completely recovered from his injuries and will likely never be back in the same physical condition.  Mr. Mellor is described as a high performance athlete who was using an expensive triathlon bicycle at the time.

According to the plaintiff’s attorney Matthew Pare, the court’s decision in this case was especially significant because in recent years the United States Supreme Court has been more limiting in terms of allowing American courts to exercise jurisdiction over foreign companies.  In fact, in another very similar personal injury lawsuit against ADK Technology, Ltd. alleging the same product defect the federal court in Utah dismissed the case.

“This is about accountability” according to the plaintiff’s Chula Vista attorney Matthew Pare.  “Chinese companies make a huge amount of money selling products in the United States.  The least we can do is hold them responsible for defective and dangerous products when Americans are hurt.”

The specific bicycle in this case, a Felt 2010 B-16, was actually the subject of a recall by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, which states that “[t]he bicycle’s fork steer tube can break, causing the rider to lose control, fall and suffer injuries.”  According to the lawsuit filed by attorney Matthew Pare, that is exactly what happened to Mr. Mellor in this case, and the specific component was manufactured by ADK Technology, Ltd.  Prior to the accident Mr. Mellor says he had no notice of this recall. 

The other defendant in the case, Mengfa Sports Science and Technology Co., Ltd., is based out of mainland China.  According to the plaintiff’s counsel Matthew Pare this makes for a complicated lawsuit because not only is that a different dialect of Chinese there, but even to serve the lawsuit on the defendant corporation it must go through the Central Authority in Beijing, pursuant to the Hague Convention.  “Not only is this type of international lawsuit complicated” says Pare, but “it also requires a certain amount of tenacity on the part of the attorney.”  Attorney Matthew Pare says he hopes this case will pave the way for others who are hurt by defective and dangerous products, particularly from Chinese manufacturers, to be held accountable in American courts.

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