The widow of a Rhode Island man who died last year while skiing in Killington has filed a lawsuit against a Killington ski shop and Giro, one of the largest ski helmet manufacturers, and Motorola for the Bluetooth device he was wearing at the time of his death.
According to a lawsuit filed this month in federal court in Burlington, Kirk W. O’Brien, 44, was wearing a Giro Omen Model S216 helmet equipped with a Motorola S805 Bluetooth Audio System designed specifically for the helmet when he crashed into a tree at Killington Mountain Ski Resort Feb. 18, 2008, and suffered a fatal skull fracture.
In 2007, he had purchased both items and had the Bluetooth installed in the helmet at Basin Sports in Killington. His widow, Heather O’Brien, is alleging that on impact, components of the Bluetooth dislodged and resulted in her husband’s skull fracture.
Neither the packaging of the helmet nor the Bluetooth warns of any injuries that could be sustained by using the two pieces of equipment in tandem, the suit alleges. The suit also alleges that both Giro and Motorola breached an implied warranty that their products were “safe for skiing and riding and would not pose any danger to the user.” Basin Sports too breached that implied warranty, the suit continues, by selling a product that was “defective and dangerous to the end user” and not “fit for its intended use.”
The suit also claims that Basin Sports was negligent because installing a Bluetooth device in a ski helmet “created a danger to Mr. O’Brien that the agents of Basin Sports should have realized and warned Mr. O’Brien of.”
At the time of his death, it was reported that O’Brien was described by family and friends as an expert skier, who’d skied globally and first learned the sport at age of 9. It is reported that this is the first lawsuit involving a ski helmet accident brought against Easton-Bell Sports Inc.