TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese man who became a quadriplegic after the front wheel of his Italian Bianchi-brand bicycle came off has been awarded US$2 million (S$2.5 million) in a compensation lawsuit, reports said.
The Tokyo District Court ordered the Japanese importer of Bianchi bicycles to pay 189 million yen (S$2.5 million) to the plaintiff in damages, in addition to 38 million yen to reimburse his insurer, Jiji Press said.
Mr Hiroshi Nakajima, 63, filed the suit against importer Cycleurope Japan after he fell and severely injured his spine in an accident in which the front wheel came off his Bianchi bicycle in August 2008, reports said.
Presiding judge Yukio Shirai said in the ruling that the separation of the front wheel was caused by a defect in the suspension system made by a Taiwanese firm, Jiji Press said.
At least six cases of similar accidents have occurred in and outside Japan, Kyodo News said.