Appeal lost in case involving woman who wrecked during motorcycle safety course in Murfreesboro

A case involving a woman who wrecked a motorcycle during a motorcycle riding safety course in Murfreesboro has been thrown out of the appeals court in Tennessee.

Ruth Maxwell from Signal Mountain, Tennessee told the courts she was taking the course to learn how to ride a scooter in order to save money on gas. After wrecking, Maxwell sought over $800-thousand in damages after running a motorcycle into a parked truck in 2009. The accident occurred as she was learning how to operate the clutch and ride the motorcycle in the Central Magnet School parking lot, which was Central Middle School at the time. When Maxwell struck the truck, she was seriously injured and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Prior to wrecking, Maxwell signed a waiver releasing the instructor and course of liability in riding the motorcycle. The court documents also indicate that Maxwell had two days of classroom instruction that covered the basics of riding a motorcycle and braking techniques.   

Maxwell sued the Motorcycle Safety Foundation alleging the organization was negligent in certifying the instructor who taught the class with the Mid Tenn Motorcycle Education Center, Inc. The courts disagreed.

The judgment of the original trial court was affirmed by the court of appeals and now Maxwell will have to cover the legal costs involved in her appeal. Judge Frank Clement wrote, “Prior to her accident, Ms. Maxwell had been able to identify the clutch and the brake, and understood how to use them to control the speed and direction of the motorcycle.”

Read the case here

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