Injured Scooter Riders Line Up To Sue Bird And Lime, But ‘User Agreements’ Could Shield Companies

By Joshua Emerson Smith
The San Diego Union-Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Joshua Emerson Smith reports, “Public health officials have raised concerns in recent months as riders of the electric vehicles continue to crash into pedestrians, potholes and cars, often with serious consequences, including a handful of deaths.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Pat Brogan had already picked up considerable speed on a Lime scooter riding downhill on Laurel Street when she said she realized the brakes weren’t working.

“I thought I was going to die for sure,” said the 63-year-old Bay Area resident who was visiting family in San Diego.

Approaching a red light at a busy intersection, she said she laid the scooter down to avoid riding into traffic, skidding for about ten feet before coming to a stop.

The crash broke two bones in her right hand, which required surgery, fractured a knuckle and badly bruised up her leg. The incident, which happened in August, set her back roughly $8,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses.

“They publish that the (scooter’s) max speed is 15 miles an hour, but that has nothing to do with a hill,” she said. “Now I don’t have the full use of either hand.”

Brogan is one of a growing number of people looking to hold scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, legally responsible for injuries involving their electric devices.

Her attorney Catherine Lerer with McGee, Lerer & Associates filed a class action lawsuit against the scooter companies Lime and Bird last month alleging, among other things, “products liability and gross negligence, as well as aiding and abetting assault.”

“They’re not street worthy,” Lerer said. “They’re not safe for their intended purpose.”

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks damages on behalf of nine plaintiffs, including pedestrians hit by scooter riders. The suit alleges even scooters that aren’t malfunctioning are not properly designed for urban landscapes and too easily get out of control.

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