A court of appeals had overruled the circuit court in December 2005, saying Tietsworth's case could be amended to include warranty and contract claims. The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the circuit court has no authority to reopen the amended case.
Harley-Davidson (nyse: HOG - news - people ) spokesman Bob Klein said the company would not comment until it had reviewed the decision. Tietsworth's lawyer, Ted Warshafsky, also declined to comment before reading the decision.
Harley-Davidson sent letters in January 2001 to Tietsworth and 140,000 other owners of 1999 and early 2000 models built with the Twin Cam 88 and Twin Cam 88B engines. The company told owners the rear cam bearing in some bikes had failed but would probably not cause engine failure. Harley extended its warranty for the part and made cam repair kits available for $495.
Tietsworth's complaint, which later involved four other owners, said the problem increased riders' safety risks and decreased the value of their Harleys. A circuit court judge threw out the original case, saying Tietsworth and others failed to show actual damages or economic loss, and its decision was eventually upheld by the state Supreme Court.
In 2004, Tietsworth asked a court to amend his original complaint to include contract and warranty claims. Thursday's Supreme Court decision ended that effort.