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Harley Wants Cruise Control Suit Tossed Out

DALLAS (CN) - Harley-Davidson has asked a Texas judge to toss claims from a man who says defective cruise control caused his bike to hit a concrete highway barrier.

Williams Simmons sued the the motorcycle maker, DFWHD Management LLC and Adam Smith Texas Harley-Davidson in 2011. He says he was injured in July 2009 when the cruise control on his motorcycle engaged as he entered a curved ramp onto Interstate 45.

Though Simmons allegedly applied the brakes, the cruise control did not engage, and he drove across the southbound lanes of the highway into a concrete barricade, according to the complaint.

In its no-evidence motion for summary judgment, Harley says Simmons has had plenty of time investigate his case, conduct discovery and identify the alleged defect.

"Despite the passage of an extensive amount of time and despite the defendants' diligent efforts, plaintiffs have come forward with not one scintilla of evidence of a design or manufacturing defect in the subject motorcycle that caused the subject crash," according to the motion authored by Harley's attorney, Kyle Dreyer with Hartline Dacus. "Therefore Harley-Davidson is entitled to a summary judgment as matter of law."

Despite requests for disclosure since the filing of the case 18 months ago, Simmons has failed to designate any experts, the eight-page motion states.

"Without the requisite experts, plaintiffs cannot establish the existence of a defect," Dreyer wrote. "Eighteen months is more than adequate time to conduct investigation and discovery, and to retain and designate the necessary experts; however, Plaintiffs in this case have also had well over three years to investigate this case. In fact, expert examinations of the subject motorcycle were conducted on March 3, 2011 and no defect whatsoever was found."

Simmons has also failed to produce any evidence to satisfy the elements of the strict liability and negligence claims alleged in the complaint, according to the motion.

"As far as plaintiffs' alleged manufacturing defect, plaintiffs have come forward with no evidence whatsoever that the motorcycle was defectively manufactured and unreasonably dangerous or that an unidentified defect caused his alleged injuries," Dreyer wrote. "Plaintiffs have no evidence of any act or omission by Harley-Davidson that resulted in a product defect involving an unreasonable risk of causing harm to those who could be expected to use the subject motorcycle for its intended purpose; no evidence that an alleged defect was present at the time the subject vehicle left Harley-Davidson's possession and control; and no evidence an act or omission by Harley-Davidson caused Mr. Simmons' alleged injuries and damages."

To satisfy the warranty claim, Simmons must prove that the alleged defect rendered the product unfit for the ordinary purposes for which it is intended, Harley says.

Simmons has produced no such evidence, according to the motion.

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