Too sexy for his ride

Too sexy for his ride

Posted by Ben Baker on Dec 4th 2016

Bikes certainly can be sexy. Anyone familiar with EasyRider Magazine is very familiar with seeing sexy ladies and equally sexy motorcycles.

But one man in California says his ride was more than he could handle. Henry Wolf, a resident of Sausalito, sued BMW North America and saddle maker Corbin-Pacific Inc.

His lawsuit claimed he suffered from a severe case of priapism, a medical condition known as a painful and very long lasting erection. Medical science says it’s often caused by a spinal injury, but other cases with a different cause have been reported.

Wolf’s original lawsuit said he rode for two hours on his ’93 BMW and vibrations coming through the “ridge-like” seat caused his painful condition. He filed and lost that suit. He appealed and the most recent decision comes from a court of appeals.

In the first court case, he accused BMW and the seat make of “negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and product liability.” He described the bike as “a very buzzy bike. It makes a lot of high-frequency vibrations.”

Among other claims, Wolf said the end result was an inability to perform.

When the original court was setting up for the hearing, the judge allowed testimony from a doctor because the case was unusual. “[I]f the plaintiff is correct about how this happened, that the motorcycle vibration in combination with the seat caused the damage to the nervous system that results in permanent erectile dysfunction, it is not established in the medical literature. This hasn’t happened before that is documented,” the Superior Court wrote.
The docs in the case reported treatment at the hospital did not deliver the expected results. Wolf was transferred to another hospital where more drastic measures were suggested. He decided against it to start with. Whatever treatment he eventually had is not noted in the appeal court decision.

One of the doctors in the first court case did say the problem was a result of the motorcycle ride. Under questioning, the doctor admitted he didn’t have all the facts on the case and the bike ride might not be the root problem.

When the Appeals Court got the matter, they tossed it out of court, the judges said Wolf didn’t have much of a case. “BMW and Corbin-Pacific contend that we should dismiss Wolf’s appeal because his opening appellate brief fails to comply with the rules of appellate procedure. We agree.” and “Wolf frequently refers to facts and quotes testimony without providing any citation to the record.”

The court’s final say on the matter is, “Wolf failed to present any admissible evidence that his motorcycle ride or the vibrations from the motorcycle seat caused him to suffer a priapism. Accordingly, the trial court correctly granted a nonsuit on his negligence and product liability claims... The judgment is affirmed. Wolf is to pay the costs of appeal.

The Appeals Court decision can be read here.