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Judge dismisses motorcycle death lawsuit



Published: Fri, May 3, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A visiting judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit against a tire supplier stemming from a fatal motorcycle accident nearly six years ago.

The lawsuit, which sought more than $25,000 in damages, was filed by the estate of Lilrob Taylor. He was fatally injured when the motorcycle he was riding slid off the road in a curved section of Interstate 680 and into the grass median and guardrail in the June 23, 2007, crash. The defendant was MPH Maximum Performance & Handling of Hudson.

At the defendant’s request, Judge Thomas J. Pokorny of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court issued a directed verdict in favor of the defendant Thursday due to insufficient evidence of liability.

The judge then sent the jury home in the third day of the trial after the plaintiff finished the presentation of its case. The case did not progress to jury deliberations.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, John A. McNally III, said he did not know if the dismissal would be appealed.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2010, alleged that MPH is liable for Taylor’s death because it negligently gave him bad advice concerning the speed at which he could ride on the new tires during their break-in period and the duration of the break-in period.

The break-in time refers to the time it takes for the friction between the tires and the road to scrub off a solution applied to new tires during the manufacturing process that initially makes them slippery.

A plaintiff’s witness alleged that an MPH official told Taylor he only needed to be careful and ride slowly for the first 10 miles, but that plaintiff’s witness said 100 miles was the proper break-in time, according to trial brief filed by McNally.

Kristin Campbell, the North Canton lawyer for MPH, could not be reached for comment.


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