Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
The Helmet Update
Volume 37, #4, July 27, 2019
Will there be a helmet class action lawsuit?
Summary: In mid-2019 a lawyer is trying to interest helmet buyers in a class action lawsuit against manufacturers who do not provide new features such as MIPS or WaveCel on the grounds that the manufacturer sold a less-than-maximumally protective helmet to the plaintiff.
The website Top Class Actions has posted a page soliciting participants for a class action lawsuit against manufacturers who continue to sell standard helmets without new anti-rotational technology. The site provides background on the Virginia Tech ratings system, and indicates that unless your helmet has technology like MIPS or WaveCel it is not providing all the protection you expected.
A lawyer is trying to interest helmet buyers in a class action lawsuit against manufacturers who do not provide new features such as MIPS or WaveCel on the grounds that the manufacturer sold a less-than-maximimally protective helmet to the plaintiff. The site says:
"As newer technologies are developed that have been proven to be safer and provide better protection against head injuries for cyclists, companies should also be updating their products to provide the ultimate safety for their customers."
"If you purchased a bike helmet in the last couple of years that you believe did not offer the injury protection you expected, you may qualify to join this bicycle helmet safety class action lawsuit investigation."
Whether or not the lawsuit is ever filed, it points the way for many plaintiff's attorneys to attack manufacturers in the future when a cyclist is injured in a helmet. "You know how to make a better helmet, and you sold my injured client a helmet that did not provide the maximum protection possible." The defense will try to prove that the manufacturer's product met all applicable safety standards, and there is no consensus in the industry or injury prevention community that the Virginia Tech ratings are valid, so no current standards use the Virginia Tech tests or call out the performance that results in a five star helmet in their ratings.
(We included a link to the class action page, but it has been taken down--see note below)
Update on August 26, 2019:
The lawsuit has been removed from the page above, and there is a different one posted now that targets online retailers who sell non-CPSC helmets. We have a page up on that.
This page was revised on: October 23, 2020.