On Monday, Suzuki was court ordered to pay roughly $6 million in punitive damages and $2 million in compensatory damages in a civil lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by a motorcycle rider, Thomas Joseph Soulliere, who was badly injured on June 8, 2013, when the brakes on his Suzuki failed to work, which caused a collision.
According to his lawsuit, Soulliere was riding his motorcycle without a rush, below the speed limit, when a vehicle pulled out of a parking lot right in front of him. He hit the brakes, but they wouldn’t respond, so he collided with the vehicle and got thrown off his bike.
According to the inspection of the motorcycle after the crash, the brakes had indeed not operated properly.
Soulliere’s attorneys claim Suzuki was aware that the brakes on this model were defective and that the brake piston in the front brake master cylinder was prone to corrosion. Corrosion may generate gas in the brake system and reduce the braking power.
Suzuki instituted a recall that included this particular model of the bike in October that same year. The rider’s attorneys argued that Suzuki was aware of the defect before the crash and that the recall was not timely.
After hearing the verdict, attorney Lori Schweitzer, who represented Suzuki, said the company is disappointed and that they plan to appeal.
Source: The OCR