The case of Darren Coombes is well known to UK cycling activists. Attempts by a motor insurer to counter-sue the parents and carer for negligence due to young Darren not having worn a helmet when struck by their insured, speeding in a 30 limit, were defeated and led to the founding of the Cyclists’ Defence Fund.

Now, in the USA, it is being tried again.  AP reports that a driver currently serving a manslaughter sentence for killing a 14-year-old is now counter-suing the lad’s parents. The driver, who has a string of convictions for driving while impaired, has lodged counter suit for:

great mental and emotional pain and suffering,” wrongful conviction and imprisonment, and the loss of his “capacity to carry on in life’s activities.

This is a direct result of helmet promotion. A victim is being blamed for not using a device which its promoters generally do not point out is not designed or specified for road traffic collisions, in a situation where it is extremely unlikely that the device would have made any difference. We can hope this attempt fails but it will certainly not be the last.

Still think there is no downside?