Michael D. Krause and Rachel D. Kiley obtained a defense verdict for motorcycle dealership Iaznab, Inc. in a $3,000,000 negligent entrustment action in which the plaintiff alleged a traumatic brain injury. Iaznab sold a 1998 ZX9 Kawasaki motorcycle to Gregory Consier.
Consier did not have a motorcycle certification on his driver’s license, which was the basis of the negligent entrustment claim. After purchasing the motorcycle, Consier drove it from the Illinois dealership back to Indiana, where he picked up the Plaintiff. A police officer subsequently attempted to stop Consier (with Plaintiff as passenger) for speeding. Consier did not stop and a police chase ensued at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Shortly thereafter, Consier tried to pass a semi-truck on the shoulder of the road, lost control of the motorcycle and crashed.
The Plaintiff was seriously injured, unconscious for 16 days and suffered cognitive deficits. Counsel for Iaznab argued that the dealership sold the motorcycle to a skilled driver as evidenced by the fact that Consier had traded in a motorcycle, drove over 100 miles from his home in Indiana to the Illinois dealership and back, was familiar with the gears on the motorcycle, and was able to drive at 100 mph while weaving in and out of traffic. After a week-long trial, the jury found in favor of Iaznab.