Swindon Powertrain, the company that makes the Swind EB-01 e-bike that Simon Cowell was thrown from in August, could soon face a multi-million-dollar lawsuit from the "America's Got Talent" star, who broke his back in three places in the crash.
That's according to British tab The Sun, which reported on Saturday, Dec. 12, that as Simon, 61, continues to recover from his accident and subsequent six-hour back surgery, he and his team are "weighing" their court options.
Their interest in suing appears to be connected in part to claims made by a former employee of Swindon Powertrain who says he expressed concern to higher-ups upon learning Simon was getting one of the bikes, which is known as the fastest e-bike in the world and can reach speeds of 60 to 80 mph. The bikes are currently banned on open roads in the U.K.
In a recent online review, biking mag MTBR deemed the EB-01 to essentially be "a motorcycle with about 60 times the power of legal e-bikes." The review added that the bikes "are dangerous machines."
Simon reportedly has other e-bikes but found his interest piqued by the EB-01 at a January motorshow. He later became one of the first buyers, according to The Sun.
"That thing is a death trap and should never have been sold to Simon without him being taught how to use it," the former employee reportedly told the outlet. He noted that the bikes come with three "maps" or settings. When it accelerates, the center of gravity reportedly changes.
If Simon started the 15,000-watt bike in the highest setting or even shifted into that setting too soon, the source said he easily could have been thrown from the bike.
"I said to my boss, 'Are you showing Simon how to use this?' He said he was just dropping it off and I said, 'Are you serious?'" The Sun's insider recalled.
"They knew at the factory this was extremely dangerous and it was discussed," he added. "The only way to stop the bike flipping is to put your whole body over the front wheel."
The tab cites "experts" as saying Simon could seek as much as $10 million in damages towards the cost of his recovery and to offset any potential lost wages while he was out of commission. (Damages would also help defray the cost of the $112,000 veneers Simon reportedly got in the wake of the crash.)
One thing that may not work in his favor, however, is the mea culpa he issued on Twitter after the accident.
"Some good advice…," he tweeted in October. "If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time."