Willem Adriaans from Eindhoven has become the victim of a bizarre accident. During a ride to the supermarket, his bicycle unexpectedly broke in half. The cause: a production error. The fall left Willem with permanent health problems.
The breakage of the bicycle appears to be due to a production error by bicycle manufacturer Sparta. It was a possibility that the frame could be too weak and could break with intensive use. Willem was unaware of any recall. “I didn’t see it anywhere on TV or the internet. I didn’t even know there was an action going on. A friend told me,” said Willem.
Willem’s fall had greater consequences than initially thought. After experiencing severe pain in his chest, he was diagnosed with Tietze syndrome. The disease (appropriately called Fietze’s syndrome by Willem) cannot be cured. Willem now suffers from chronic pains. The pain flares up, especially with coughing and certain movements of his upper body. “I can no longer sit properly. For example, I have to sit on a garden chair to support my arm, otherwise, I feel like I may die from the pain.”
According to the Eindhoven lawyer Guido Schakenraad, compensation is appropriate here. The company had issued a recall indicating a defect in the product. We then speak about product liability”, explained Schakenraad. Willem mainly wants to warn other Sparta owners with his story. And he would be happy if he got a new E-bike. “I don’t dare to ride this bike anymore.”
If it can be shown that the production error caused the fall, and the fall subsequently caused Tietze’s syndrome, then according to lawyer Schakenraad there is more to claim than just a new bicycle.
“Once such a connection has been established, they then look at the loss of income, compensation for damages, reimbursement of special therapies, help in the household and so on. Although things are not so bad in the Netherlands, such compensation can in some cases still be millions of euros.”
Despite this, Willem Adriaans remains hesitant to file a lawsuit. He is afraid of high costs if he loses the case. Sparta could not be reached for comment at short notice.
Translate: Aysenur Kuran