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Old 05-14-13, 10:26 PM   #1
agent pombero
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Cyclist suing railroad company for crashing on tracks

Bike lawsuit seeks up to $10,000 for crash along Springwater Trail in Southeast Portland

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Damage to Jacobs' custom Erickson bike cost $4,149.54 with another $631.05 to travel three times between Portland and Seattle for repairs, the suit says. Jacobs also had $110 in medical expenses.
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Old 05-14-13, 10:51 PM   #2
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THATS ONE EXPENSIVE BILL. 4K+ for the bike and around 650 to travel between 2 places for repairs. Clicking on the article and seeing the picture; that's one nasty crack to get caught in, I've been caught in plenty of cracks where I'm at and fallen off, but I'm never going all that fast. I feel that 10k is quite a bit to ask, especially if she could've avoided the crack in the first place, as harsh as I may be, if there was room to go around it she should've gone around it. Being attentive while you bike and knowing what kind of road conditions lie ahead are something that should always be done when biking. If I was in the situation, I definitely wouldn't be trying to get 10k, I'd get enough to cover the repair fees, medical fees, and maybe a little more.
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Old 05-14-13, 11:10 PM   #3
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Oh great. A cyclist doesn't know how to ride, manages to crash herself and then tries to collect from the railroad company, effectively undoing dozens of years of work by cycling advocates who have been working with the railroads to improve access for cyclists. If she is so blind that she can't see the joint, many of which are wide enough to grab a road wheel, then however does she manage to ride on the road?
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Old 05-14-13, 11:17 PM   #4
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So the railroad guy thinks he can refuse access for a track crossing, claims he fixed the danger within 24 hours but a photo is taken likely well after that, and claims to have offered a settlement that no one else knows about.

Sounds like the cyclist and railroad guy deserve each other.
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Old 05-15-13, 01:43 AM   #5
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I just hope the cyclist recovered from their injuries.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:09 AM   #6
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Personal responsibility -- unless in the middle of a crowd of cyclists, it's the rider's JOB to miss cracks like that one. In a crowd, it could go unseen, but otherwise, no.

Sure glad *I* don't have (or need) a custom bike that costs $4K to REPAIR!!
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Old 05-15-13, 07:39 AM   #7
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As law suits go these days, IMHO not being a lawyer, it seems to me she had a valid claim. I hope she wins.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:46 AM   #8
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What are the laws in Portland regarding cyclists on the sidewalk? I'd say that SHOULD have a major impact on the outcome.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:47 AM   #9
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That is one incompetent cyclist. She shouldn't have been on the sidewalk and once on it, she needs to look out where she is riding. This is a bad gap in the sidewalk but you cannot prevent people from doing really stupid things like riding a bike into a hole in the ground.
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Old 05-15-13, 08:09 AM   #10
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Look's good compared to our track crossings:



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Old 05-15-13, 08:37 AM   #11
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Honestly, anyone who crashes on railroad tracks is probably an idiot. Those things are wheel snatchers and you should EXPECT trouble and watch out for it. I cross a few tracks on my route and I'm at the peak of awareness when crossing them, carefully picking the route over them to cross as perpendicular to the tracks as possible and avoiding problem spots which inevitably occur when you disrupt the road surface like that.
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Old 05-15-13, 10:37 AM   #12
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Well, its not like suing McDs for 3 megabucks over spilled coffee* I suspect this woman was not a chronic sidewalk cruiser. I am not either, but sometimes sidewalks are necessary transitions from bike trails. Also, looking at the photo, that was a legitimate maintenance issue at that crossing. Should the woman have been paying better attention? Sure, but her case will have the benefit of (hopefully) having that thing fixed so that some drunk on a Wally doesnt hit it and cost society more when his uninsured carcass is hauled to the emergency room. This is the purpose of the litigation system, when it works. (BTW McD's coffee is now served at the proper temperature, and in cups that have lids that fit very well)

*(I looked up the whole McD thing, and it turns out that the woman had not sued for three megabucks initially, but rather sued for medical expenses only, and that only after the crew at that particular outlet refused to supply her with ice water that would have lessened the damage. The jury increased the damages in response to McDs attempt to vilify the woman. After all was said and done, and after an unpublicized and successful appeal by McD, the woman wound up with having her medical expenses paid plus a small pittance out of the punitive damages. The lawyers (hers and McDs) got the rest, and McD got the kind of free publicity, where they were portrayed as the victim, that was worth far more than the case cost them)
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Old 05-15-13, 10:44 AM   #13
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Reactions like Jacobs' make him sorry he agreed to allow right-of-way along the Springwater Corridor, he said.
One more bike path to soon be history.
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Old 05-15-13, 10:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Oh great. A cyclist doesn't know how to ride, manages to crash herself and then tries to collect from the railroad company, effectively undoing dozens of years of work by cycling advocates who have been working with the railroads to improve access for cyclists. If she is so blind that she can't see the joint, many of which are wide enough to grab a road wheel, then however does she manage to ride on the road?
maybe she missed the training video - "avoid the ruts in the road". same common sense like watching out for sewer grates that are wider than your tires. (of course unless they were submerged due to flooding).
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Old 05-15-13, 11:07 AM   #15
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The story states " went on the sidewalk to avoid a lineup of traffic from Oaks Amusement Park. She was wearing a helmet and no one was walking at the time on the sidewalk, he said." So this was avoidable by the cyclist by staying on the road. Most likely germane, but who knows with suits.
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Old 05-15-13, 11:17 AM   #16
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Most likely germane, but who knows with suits.
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Old 05-15-13, 11:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Oh great. A cyclist doesn't know how to ride, manages to crash herself and then tries to collect from the railroad company, effectively undoing dozens of years of work by cycling advocates who have been working with the railroads to improve access for cyclists. If she is so blind that she can't see the joint, many of which are wide enough to grab a road wheel, then however does she manage to ride on the road?
Totally this.
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Old 05-15-13, 12:22 PM   #18
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Leaving aside the liability issue, how can you cause $4000 worth of damage to your bike just by crashing on the sidewalk (yet have only $110 in medical bills)?
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Old 05-15-13, 12:44 PM   #19
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Leaving aside the liability issue, how can you cause $4000 worth of damage to your bike just by crashing on the sidewalk (yet have only $110 in medical bills)?
An overly helpful bike shop . . .
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Old 05-15-13, 12:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
So the railroad guy thinks he can refuse access for a track crossing, claims he fixed the danger within 24 hours but a photo is taken likely well after that, and claims to have offered a settlement that no one else knows about.

Sounds like the cyclist and railroad guy deserve each other.
You are guessing here.

It looks like it was filled on August 2011.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=South...78.84,,0,10.69

What are the laws about riding on sidewalks there?

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Old 05-15-13, 01:04 PM   #21
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Honestly, anyone who crashes on railroad tracks is probably an idiot. Those things are wheel snatchers and you should EXPECT trouble and watch out for it. I cross a few tracks on my route and I'm at the peak of awareness when crossing them, carefully picking the route over them to cross as perpendicular to the tracks as possible and avoiding problem spots which inevitably occur when you disrupt the road surface like that.
Nah, either inexperienced or $hit-poor maintenance of the tracks.

My wife crashed on a rr crossing a few years ago. Inexperienced? Yes, but she did know that rr tracks are tricky and has crossed a few. This particular track, because of extremely poor care and maintenance was, essentially, a bike trap. The tracks themselves stood proud of the road surface by at least 1/2+ inch. This caused the crash. My wife broke her arm. We never gave one moment of thought to a lawsuit. The RR was contacted though about the unsafe condition of their tracks. They didn't admit any fault, but interestingly, the crossing was repaired within 2 weeks so that the asphalt and the track were essentially at the same level.

So it's not accurate to make that idiot statement. Don't call anyone who is not as experienced as you an idiot - call them inexperienced and warn them.
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Old 05-15-13, 02:10 PM   #22
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What are the laws about riding on sidewalks there?
legal (except for a small designated area downtown).
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Old 05-15-13, 07:28 PM   #23
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So it's not accurate to make that idiot statement. Don't call anyone who is not as experienced as you an idiot - call them inexperienced and warn them.
I admit that's true, but I would guess that someone who had a bike that could have > $4000 in damage is probably not inexperienced.
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Old 05-15-13, 08:08 PM   #24
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If I was on the jury , I would say are you kidding me? It's a F'ing railroad crossing... You should expect "difficult" terrain, even on/at a paved road....
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Old 05-15-13, 10:36 PM   #25
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I admit that's true, but I would guess that someone who had a bike that could have > $4000 in damage is probably not inexperienced.
Probably so - I wasn't making any comment on the original topic having not read the story. But someone riding a high end bike should have a little more savvy than my wife on her hybrid!
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