Paralysed cyclist sues suspension fork maker

Mountain biker claims defect caused front wheel to drop out

A mountain biker paralysed in a crash in the Brecon Beacons, UK, five years ago is taking suspension fork manufacturer Fox Racing Shox to court.

Russell Pinder is seeking damages for negligence from the firm, which is based in Watsonville, California. The 44-year-old building engineer from Oxfordshire claims a defect in the design of his Fox Float 100R forks led to him sustaining spinal cord injuries which left him permanently paralysed from the chest down. 

He was riding on the Gap descent in the Brecon Beacons in March 2003 when he crashed and had to be airlifted to hospital. 

It is Mr Pinder's case that when the Fox Float 100R forks are combined with certain disc brakes and a quick-release wheel, repeated braking can result in the wheel becoming loose and falling out of the dropouts. 

Mr Pinder is bringing the claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. He is represented by Warren Collins of international law firm Davies Arnold Cooper. Mr Pinder and his legal team declined to comment on the case. Fox Racing Shox also declined to comment.

The trial at London's High Court is due to start on October 28th and is expected to last a week.

  • Following Mr Pinder's accident, friends launched the RUSS (Riders United in Serious Situations) Appeal to raise funds for the air ambulance and Mint Sauce creator Jo Burt backed them by designing a limited edition T-shirt. The appeal has raised more than £35,000. For details, see www.russ-appeal.org.uk.

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