CAPE TOWN, South Africa, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leatt Corporation (OTCQB: LEAT) today announced that it has prevailed in the first Leatt-Brace® lawsuit to be tried in the United States. After a two-week trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern) ending on April 17, 2014, a federal jury returned a defense verdict for the Company in a product liability lawsuit brought by Scott Scarvelli and his parents, Tim and Sherri Scarvelli.
An avid cyclist and motocross enthusiast, Dr. Chris Leatt, the Company's founder and head of research and development, created the Leatt-Brace® about ten years ago to help reduce catastrophic neck injuries in extreme sports. Intended to be worn with a full-face helmet, the Leatt-Brace™ is designed to reduce extreme ranges of neck motion and create an Alternative Load Path™ for forces inflicted during accidents involving unrestrained motocross, ATV, mountain bike, snowboard, and snowmobile riders.
The Scarvellis had alleged that defective product design and failure to warn had caused Scott, a then fifteen year-old motocross rider, to suffer multiple mid-thoracic spine fractures, causing immediate and permanent paraplegia, when he crashed at a relatively low speed on February 13, 2011. When the accident occurred, Scott was wearing a helmet and other safety gear from several different companies, including the Company's acclaimed Leatt-Brace®. The Company produced evidence at trial showing that Scott's thoracic paraplegia was an unavoidable consequence of his fall, not the result of wearing a Leatt-Brace®, and that the brace likely saved his life—or saved him from quadriplegia—by preventing cervical spine injury.
Mr. Macdonald commented, "We are pleased with the outcome of this case. We have invested several years of research, development, and testing in all our products before introducing them into the marketplace, and a growing body of user experience and accident data show what we already know to be true – that the Leatt-Brace® is both effective and safe."
The Company has maintained from the onset that this and a small handful of other lawsuits are without merit and that it will vigorously defend itself in each case.
The case was tried by the Company's national trial counsel, John L. Tate, Stites & Harbison PLLC (Louisville, KY), assisted by Akron (OH) lawyers, Orville Reed and Jason Wiegand. Expert witnesses for the Company included Erick Knox, Ph.D., P.E., and Mitchell Garber, M.D., M.S. Mech. Eng., M.P.H., both with Engineering Systems, Inc., and John Bodnar, M.D., medical director for U.S. professional supercross and motocross races.
After trial the Scarvelli jury foreman said to Dr. Leatt: "Thank you for inventing the neck brace. You're saving people's lives."
About Leatt Corporation
Leatt Corporation develops and sells protective equipment and ancillary products for all forms of sports, especially extreme high-velocity sports. The Leatt-Brace® is an award-winning neck brace system considered to be the gold standard in neck protection for anyone wearing a crash helmet as a form of protection. The latest generation of the Leatt-Brace, the Five.Five neck brace, is also designed for participants in high-velocity sports such as motorcycling, bicycling, mountain bicycling, driving all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and other vehicles, and have potential applications in any downhill or freestyle high-velocity sports. For more information, visit: www.leatt-corp.com | www.leatt.com
This press release may contain forward-looking statements regarding Leatt Corporation (the "Company") within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact included herein are "forward-looking statements" including statements regarding: the significance of the Scarvelli verdict to the Company's business and operations; the general ability of the Company to achieve its commercial objectives; the business strategy, plans and objectives of the Company and its subsidiaries; and any other statements of non-historical information. These forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "seeks," "should," "could," "intends," or "projects" or similar expressions, and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These statements are based upon the Company's current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. Any indication of the merits of a claim does not necessarily mean the claim will prevail at trial or otherwise. Financial performance in one period does not necessarily mean continued or better performance in the future. The Company's actual results in any endeavor may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, which factors or uncertainties may be beyond our ability to foresee or control. Other risk factors include the status of the Company's common stock as a "penny stock" and those listed in other reports posted on The OTC Markets Group, Inc.
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SOURCE Leatt Corporation