http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_19586515 Harley-Davidson cleared of blame in accident; rider thought he had ABS Quickly and resoundingly, a Sacramento Superior Court jury exonerated Harley-Davidson of blame Monday in a 2009 motorcycle accident that left a woman with severe brain injuries. The panel that spent barely half a day in deliberations said the manufacturer's design of the 2008 Road Glide cruiser on which the woman was a passenger was not defective. Nor did the people who sold it misrepresent to her that it had an anti-lock braking system, the jury found. "I have really nice clients and they didn't do anything wrong," said James William Rushford, the local attorney who represented Harley-Davison of Sacramento, after the jury found in favor of the defendants. The dealership's Jay Westbrook said he's been nervous ''every day, every minute" for the past two years as a result of the allegations contained in the lawsuit filed by 50-year-old Judy Wilson of Lincoln. She had been injured in a crash April 11, 2009, on Highway 99. The motorcycle's driver, her now-estranged husband, hit the brakes when traffic backed up, she said; the rear wheel locked and the bike went into a slide. Wilson said a salesman at Harley-Davidson of Sacramento told her the bike came equipped with an anti-lock braking system, or ABS. She also claimed that an icon on the Harley's tachometer made her and her husband think the bike had an ABS when it did not. Lawyers for the manufacturer said the icon is present on the display of all the bikes, whether or not they have ABS; the manual describes how the icon illuminates to indicate that the system is working.The dealer's attorney flatly denied anybody at the business ever told Wilson or her husband that the motorcycle had anti-lock brakes. Juror Ken Misener said in an interview Monday that he thought the evidence at trial was ''pretty overwhelming" for the defense. "The evidence showed and the experts showed there was no problem with (the icon) until this incident," the 29-year-old director of sales for a local security company said. Misener said he didn't believe the salesman told her the motorcycle had ABS brakes. "It obviously didn't cause this accident," he said. Plaintiffs lawyer William L. Veen of San Francisco said the verdict came as a ''shock." Veen said jurors told him Wilson's husband, Jack Wilson, had plenty of time -- 15 months -- to learn how to operate the vehicle from the time they bought it until the accident. The lawyer said Judy Wilson has lifetime disabling brain injuries and will now apply to get on Social Security disability. He said his client turned down a pretrial settlement offer of $900,000, an amount that would have left her with next to nothing after a medical lien, experts' costs and his own fees were deducted. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Once again, rider skill error, jumping on the rear brake, caused a fall. Yes, ABS would have saved the fall, but a panic stomp of the rear with ABS going will mean a very much longer braking effort than a properly skilled use of the brake. The rider may have collided with traffic while remaining vertical if they had ABS... what would their excuse have been then? If you get ABS, you still gotta know how to brake a bike. LEARN TO USE YOUR BRAKES!