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Defective Product Lawsuit Trial Begins Today

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Eight boys from across the country who suffered injuries when the front wheels came off their bikes are expected to testify in a trial that begins today. The lawsuit claims the bicycles, sold at Wal-Mart and imported by a Marin County, CA company, had faulty front-wheel-release devices which malfunctioned, causing the front wheels to come off and resulting in the boys smashing their faces on the pavement.

The suit alleges that Wal-Mart, which sold the bikes for about $150 each, and the Marin importer, which has a record of failing to report injuries, knew the bikes were dangerous because of complaints from users — but failed to report alleged defects to government regulators while continuing to sell the bicycles.

“Consumers in America deserve to be able to rely on the safety of products they buy for their children,” said Mark Webb, a San Francisco attorney representing the boys, who crashed from February 2000 to September 2003.