Metallurgist Examines Allegedly Defective Motorcycle Brakes

Metallurgy ExpertThis case involves a fatal motorcycle accident in New Mexico. The decedent was a 26-year-old female who attempted to turn off the highway. As she did so, the front of the bike started to rattle and vibrate, causing her to have to straighten out. She flew out of the turn, went over the handlebars, and died instantly from the impact. It was alleged by the manufacturer that this model of bike was known to have issues with its brake discs. An expert metallurgist was sought to examine the brake disc of the bike in question and opine as to whether the product’s brake disc was defective.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience performing brake disc inspections.
  • 2. What experience do you have as a metallurgist?

Expert Witness Response E-009211

I have been a degreed metallurgical engineer since 1982 and have spent the last 14 years as a metallurgical testing consultant. I have performed many surface texture evaluations and measurements for automotive, biomedical, aerospace and hunting equipment items over the last 14 years. I have conducted failure analyses of automotive/motorcycle assemblies and component parts for a variety of mechanical and metallurgical properties and dozens of surface texture conditions. Prior to my years as an engineer, I was a mechanic in an auto repair shop, and a motorcycle owner/enthusiast. In this case, I would be available to examine the brake disc and review the grinding texture condition. My pre-engineering years as a mechanic, my 34 years of experience as a practicing metallurgical engineer, and my last 14 years as a metallurgical consultant suit me well for this case.

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