Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Way to go!






"By his own admission he's someone you would call an avid cyclist," stated Kim Brown, attorney for Citi Bike.







Citi Bike hit the streets of New York city in May 2013 with 330 bicycle stations and over 6,000 bikes.  It is a privately owned public bike sharing program that allows users to purchase daily, weekly or yearly passes to use the bikes for travel and only requires that they be returned a docking station.  The company is now facing it's first injury lawsuit of $15 million dollars.

Ronald Corwin, 73 and his wife are suing the city of New York and Citi Bike over injuries he suffered on Oct 25 2013 while using one of the companies bicycles.  Corwin crashed his bike after he ran into a low concrete barrier placed directly next to the docking station on E 56th St and Madison Ave.  The barrier had been installed recently and is commonly used to prevent motor vehicles from backing into a space.  Witnesses state that there had been someone else had crashed at the same location, earlier that day but they appeared to be unhurt.



A witness to Corwin's crash stated that he had hit the barrier at about 11 am and had been completely airborne until hit hit the pavement.  He was knocked unconscious and was rushed to Cornell Hospital for treatment.  The barrier was painted bright orange and marked with a traffic cone shortly after Corwin had crashed into it.

Corwin was the chairman of the Westport CT Planning and Zoning Commission from 2007 to 2011, so I am sure that he is familiar with how a lawsuit should run.  His lawsuit claims that he suffered bleeding in the frontal lobe of his brain, a broken eye socket that requires surgery and he now suffers from a nerve palsy that has left him unable to smell or taste properly.  He stated that everything tastes like cardboard now and he faces the surgery as well as a couple more months of neurological testing to map the extent of his injuries.

Corwin's lawyers have stated that the original amount of $15 million has been taken off of the table for settlement because of the extent of his medical bills and injuries.  Corwin was not wearing a helmet though when he had the accident.  He has been described as an avid bicyclist by his own lawyers and owns two bikes and two helmets that he keeps in Connecticut.  This would tell me that he also knows the benefits of riding a bike with a helmet for protection.  Corwin had stated that he did not see the barrier because it had blended in with the ground and both the city and the company should be found responsible for his accident and injuries.

The lawyer for Citi Bike and the city has stated that Corwin has shown that he knew the risks of riding without a helmet as well as the benefits of using one.  They have stated that he should have been wearing one and knew that he should have.  I find it difficult to understand how the concrete barrier blended in with the asphalt as well as how you do not notice a barrier to your bike. It is New York City where there are dangers all over the roadway and someone riding there would have to be very vigilant as to what they are going to encounter as they ride.

I am very sorry that he suffered the injuries that he did but........... you have lived enough years to know better.  It is time for people to suck it up and learn from their own mistakes unless we should all live our entire lives in a plastic protective bubble.




http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/citi-bike-lawyer-injured-cyclist-wear-helmet-article-1.1998275

http://westport.dailyvoice.com/news/former-westport-official-ronald-corwin-suing-nyc-citi-bike-15m

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/first-big-citi-bike-injury-lawsuit-filed.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/man-sues-nyc-citi-bike-15-million-article-1.1704829

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Citi-Bike-Lawsuit-Injury-Docking-Station-Midtown-247786811.html

https://www.citibikenyc.com/

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131030/midtown-east/new-concrete-barrier-at-citi-bike-station-causes-crashes-witnesses-say

3 comments:

Shylock Holmes said...

Absurd thought it may be, I have a sneaking suspicion the fact that the barrier got painted bright orange after the crash and a cone added might end up looking like an admission of sorts about the previous adequacy of signage if the case goes to trial. The interesting question is whether they'll settle given the particular facts of the case, or fight it just to set a precedent that they won't easily admit liability for injuries you have on their bikes.

Val said...

Thank you for your comment. I am sure that the reason the curb was painted was exactly that.... not enough signage. I also don't feel that, given that it has been reported that he owns bikes, is an avid bicyclist and owns helmets as well, he can legitimately claim that he did not see the barrier before it was painted. I have spent many a visit to New York City making sure that I am aware of all the dangers while walking or driving there. Just the "naturally" forming potholes can ruin the front end of a car. He made a mistake of not looking it seems, so suck it up and deal with it.

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