Man sues bike operator due to injuries caused by concrete barrier

Connecticut man claims barrier was negligently placed by the city

A 73-year-old Connecticut man is suing Citi Bike's private operator and the City of New York for $15 million after suffering a traumatic bicycle injury last year, according to the New York Daily News. The man claims that a concrete barrier, also known as a "wheelstop," was negligently placed in his path at one of the Citi Bike docking stations.

Man lost sense of taste and smell

The man was riding a Citi Bike in October when he struck a newly installed barrier, flipped over the bike, and hit his head against the pavement. He was knocked unconscious and had to be rushed to hospital.

The man suffered from severe nerve damage as a result of the accident and now has traumatic nerve palsy. Doctors believe the nerve damage has permanently robbed him of his sense of smell and taste.

The man claims the concrete barrier, which is 6 inches high and 6 feet wide, blended in with the asphalt and that there were no signs warning of the barrier.

The contract between New York City and Citi Bike protects the city from lawsuits involving the Citi Bike system. Instead, the Citi Bike operator's insurance is responsible for lawsuits and claims arising from injuries related to the public bike network. Nonetheless, because the barriers were installed by the city, the injured man is seeking $15 million in compensation from both Citi Bike and the city.

Not the first accident

While it is believed that this personal injury lawsuit is a first against Citi Bike, the concrete barriers in question have caused other injuries in the past.

In November, CBS2 reported on a rash of injuries caused by the then newly installed barriers. The barriers were placed at the Citi Bike stations to prevent vehicles from driving into the equipment. Many cyclists, however, complained that the barriers were difficult to detect and placed directly in bike paths.

The barriers have since been spray painted a bright orange, but that was only after the complaints and the above case of the Connecticut man's accident.

Personal injury liability

As the above lawsuit is still pending, it is unclear what the ultimate result will be. However, this story does serve as a reminder to anybody on the road, including drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians, to be aware of hidden dangers at all times. Furthermore, this case should be a lesson to property owners and municipal governments that sidewalks and roads should be kept safe for the people that use them.

A person who is injured on the road because of somebody else's negligence has the right to seek compensation beyond insurance claims. Anybody suffering from a personal injury where third-party negligence may be at least partially to blame should contact a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to offer expert advice on what legal and compensatory avenues may be available to the victim.