It is likely that anyone who has traveled through New York City in the last year has noticed an increase in cyclists throughout one of the busiest cities in the world. This increase is the direct result of New York City’s public bike-sharing program named Citi Bike. The program, which sparked controversy in 2013 for its potential dangers and hazards, has for the most part remained relatively unscathed and has sustained a successful business free of personal injury lawsuits…until now.
A 73 year-old Connecticut man, Ronald Corwin, is suing Citi Bike along with New York City for $15 million. Mr. Corwin reportedly flipped his bike after hitting a concrete barrier near East 56th Street and Madison Avenue, close to a Citi Bike docking station. The concrete barrier in question is a “wheelstop” which is 6-feet wide and 6-inches tall. Corwin said it blended in with the road and there were no colored markings or cones to draw attention to it.
As a result of the crash Corwin currently suffers from traumatic nerve palsy that has left him unable to taste and smell.
Mr. Corwin’s lawsuit is said to be the first and only personal injury lawsuit against the bike share program. To prove negligence Mr. Corwin will have to show that: 1. New York City and the Citi Bike operator owed a duty to him to act reasonably when installing the bike barrier, 2. the duty was breached, 3. their actions caused his injuries, and 4. actual damages resulted from their negligence.
It has been reported that New York City has a contract with Citi Bike's operator that makes the operator's insurance company responsible for lawsuits stemming from the bike-share system and protects the city from claims. If the contract protects the city from liability, then the operator could potentially be held solely responsible for Corwin's injuries if he wins the lawsuit.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a personal injury and have suffered as a result, contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney will afford you the representation you deserve and ensure your legal rights are protected.