A mountain biker who was seriously injured during a race last year is suing a bicycle manufacturer and the Waco company that recommended and sold him a wheel.
Logan Rainey, an 18-year-old college student from Waco, is seeking more than $200,000 in damages in his lawsuit against Specialized Bike Components Inc.; Bear Mountain Outdoors LLC, doing business as The Bear Mountain; and BlaggCo LLC, doing business as The Bear Mountain.
The lawsuit was filed last month in Waco’s 170th State District Court on Rainey’s behalf by Waco attorneys Craig Cherry and Amy Thomas.
Brandon Blagg, former owner of The Bear Mountain, sold the outdoor shop in November 2018. He declined comment on the lawsuit. The Bear Mountain’s current owner Ross Harris did not return a phone message, and Lance Green, Bear Mountain manager, declined comment.
A spokesman for Specialized Bike Components in Morgan Hill, Calif., did not return phone messages.
The lawsuit alleges that a wheel known as a “Roval Control Wheel” manufactured by Specialized Bike Components and recommended to Rainey by The Bear Mountain was defectively designed or manufactured and that Bear Mountain employees failed to adequately inspect the wheel before selling it.
According to the lawsuit, Rainey was a longtime mountain biker who frequently won medals in Texas Mountain Bike Racing Association competitions. He won the Texas State Championship when he was 13 and grew up racing bikes built by Specialized.
“However, today he no longer races his Specialized bike,” the suit claims. “In fact, he no longer rides any bike.”
In late 2017, in preparation for the upcoming racing season, Rainey went to The Bear Mountain in Waco to upgrade his equipment, the lawsuit says.
“Bear Mountain employees, taking into consideration (Rainey’s) racing background and future race plans, recommended Defendant Specialized’s Roval Control Wheel set as not only an appropriate wheel for mountain bike racing, but a superior wheel for the terrain (Rainey) would encounter,” the suit contends.
Based on the recommendation, Rainey bought the wheel in October 2017.
Three miles into a race at Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose in April 2018, Rainey was “navigating a descent when he and the surrounding racers heard a loud pop,” the suit claims.
“While other racers turned their heads to look, (Rainey) was suddenly and violently thrown off his bike, which flew into the air as his body was flung to the ground at a high rate of speed,” according to the lawsuit. “Once his head, shoulder and body made impact with the ground, he slid several feet down the trail while other riders struggled to avoid colliding into him.”
The suit says the front rim of the wheel split more than an inch and the tire was bound around the fork of the bike.
“The rim of Specialized’s Roval Control Wheel, which Bear Mountain had assured (Rainey) were appropriate and superior mountain bike racing wheels, dangerously split open at a critical moment when (Rainey) was relying on it to perform safely and reliably,” the suit says.
Rainey suffered a concussion and started vomiting. He also suffered a broken shoulder blade and “gashes, bruises and abrasions all over his face and body.” His jersey and shorts were torn from the impact and his helmet was badly damaged, the suit alleges.
After the crash, Rainey continued to suffer upper back pain, frequent headaches and pain in his teeth and jaw.
“The impact of the crash didn’t end there, however,” according to the suit. “Since the equipment failure and resulting crash, (Rainey) has experienced such emotional distress that he has been completely unable to ride a bike again. (Rainey’s) mental anguish has left him completely unable to enjoy a sport he’s loved and been deeply passionate about for years.”
Cherry said Specialized redesigned and reintroduced the wheel model in the fall of 2018.
“To our knowledge, Specialized has yet to disclose the reason for the redesign,” Cherry said. “We look forward to conducting discovery on that issue and presenting our case to a McLennan County jury.”