Walmart Negligently Assembled Bicycles Class Action

When plaintiff Boyd Johnson bought a bicycle from Walmart in 2016, he may have thought it was a good idea to let the store’s employees assemble it for him. After all, if they’re doing this all the time, they’re probably pretty good at it, right?

Maybe not. According to the complaint, as he was riding the new bicycle in the bike lane on the road, the improperly-installed handlebar bolt came loose and the handlebars shifted completely to the right. Johnson lost control of the bike, the complaint claims, and flew over the handlebars, hitting the pavement with his face, shoulder, and the right side of his body. Had the handlebars slid to the left, the complaint claims, he could have fallen into the path of traffic.

The proposed class for this class action includes all persons in the US who, within the class period, bought a bicycle from a Walmart store or from www.Walmart.com and were injured which riding it due to Walmart’s negligent assembly. An alternative class would be all persons in Florida who, between August 14, 2013 and August 14, 2017, bought a bicycle from a Walmart store or from www.Walmart.com and were injured which riding it due to Walmart’s negligent assembly.

You’d think that Walmart would have the resources to train employees for tasks like assembling bicycles. After all, according to the complaint, it has more than 11,500 retail units in 28 countries, employs 2.3 million associates (1.5 million in the US), and, in the fiscal year ending January 31, 2016, had total revenue of over $482 billion. It sells road bikes, cruiser bikes, fat tire bikes, electric bikes, recumbent bikes, folding bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes, from popular companies like Schwinn, Mongoose, Huffy, Kent, and Roadmaster.

In the past, the complaint says, Walmart had third-party vendors assemble bicycles and bring them to the store in a ready-to-ride state, but in or about 2014 began having its own employees assemble the bikes. The complaint suggests that the decision was made to save money, that the assemblers do not have proper training, and that the assemblers are pressured to assemble the bicycles as fast as they can. It claims that the assemblers have no checklist, do not have time to properly inspect the bikes, and do not have a third-party inspector to check the bikes after assembly.

Companies do offer training in bicycle assembly, the complaint says, citing Barnett Bicycle Institute and United Bicycle Institute, which offer certification programs. The complaint claims that assemblers could be trained for as little as $30, that Walmart could have bought or made training videos, or that it could have purchased on-demand training videos on the Internet—but that the company chose not to do any of these things.

Other plaintiffs in this case reported injuries from improperly assembled brakes and loose or collapsing handlebars. The complaint alleges that Walmart is guilty of negligence in not taking proper measures to see that the bicycles are assembled correctly by properly-trained employees.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Wal-Mart Negligently Assembled Bicycles Complaint

August 14, 2017

According to the complaint for this class action, plaintiff Boyd Johnson bought a bicycle from Walmart and took advantage of their free, in-store assembly offer. But as he was riding his new bicycle in the bike lane on the road, the improperly-installed handlebar bolt came loose and the handlebars shifted completely to the right. Johnson lost control of the bike, the complaint claims, and flew over the handlebars, hitting the pavement with his face, shoulder, and the right side of his body. The complaint alleges that the Walmart assemblers do not have proper training and that they are pressured to assemble the bicycles as fast as they can. The complaint alleges that Walmart is guilty of negligence in not taking proper measures to see that the bicycles are assembled correctly by properly-trained employees.

walmart_defective_bike_assembley_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Wal-Mart Negligently Assembled Bicycles Complaint

August 14, 2017

According to the complaint for this class action, plaintiff Boyd Johnson bought a bicycle from Walmart and took advantage of their free, in-store assembly offer. But as he was riding his new bicycle in the bike lane on the road, the improperly-installed handlebar bolt came loose and the handlebars shifted completely to the right. Johnson lost control of the bike, the complaint claims, and flew over the handlebars, hitting the pavement with his face, shoulder, and the right side of his body. The complaint alleges that the Walmart assemblers do not have proper training and that they are pressured to assemble the bicycles as fast as they can. The complaint alleges that Walmart is guilty of negligence in not taking proper measures to see that the bicycles are assembled correctly by properly-trained employees.

walmart_defective_bike_assembley_complaint.pdf
Tags: Improper Product Assembly