OXNARD, Calif. (KGET) — An Oxnard police officer has retired almost two years after suffering a brain injury in a Kern County motorcycle crash and is suing a helmet manufacturer and Caltrans in connection with the incident.
James Langford retired Aug. 13 after serving 15 years with the Oxnard Police Department, which said in a news release a September 2017 crash on Highway 58 ended his career.
“Although Officer Langford made great strides in his recovery, it is what led to his retirement,” the release said.
Langford filed a lawsuit last year against SHARK Helmets alleging negligence, design defects and breach of warranty, among other causes of action.
He is also suing Caltrans for negligence for failing to maintain the roadway where he crashed in a “reasonably safe” condition, the suit says.
Langford is seeking unspecified damages for past and future medical expenses, physical pain, mental suffering, emotional distress and past and future lost earnings and lost earning capacity.
According to the suit, Langford participated in an Oxnard Police Department motorcycle training ride in Kern County on Sept. 26, 2017.
He and other officers were driving west on Highway 58, several miles west of McKittrick, when they approached a sharp left curve, according to the suit. Langford entered the curve at a low rate of speed, but his front wheel hit loose dirt and debris near the dirt shoulder and he fell.
“What initially appeared to Officer Langford’s Oxnard P.D. colleagues as a minor motorcycle incident soon became anything but,” the suit says.
His SHARK helmet “had failed comprehensively and had done so with catastrophic consequences,” according to the suit.
Langford was unresponsive and airlifted to a local hospital in critical condition.
He suffered “life-altering” injuries — including a severe traumatic brain injury — and will require care for the rest of his life, the suit says.
The next hearing in the case is set for Sept. 24 in Kern County Superior Court.