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Old 11-29-11, 08:36 PM   #1
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Idiot cyclist sues

This one really steams me, dude sues because he slips on ice. I thought there was law to prevent lawsuits due to acts of God. I am sure that trail will be closed to cyclist now. They would have won in court but probably cheaper to settle out of court, due to lawyer costs.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/29...est=latestnews
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Old 11-29-11, 08:39 PM   #2
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In this case the plaintiff was rewarded for breaking the law with his motorized bicycle!!

That's wrong!!
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Old 11-29-11, 08:42 PM   #3
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He really shouldn't be called a cyclist but he is.
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Old 11-29-11, 09:35 PM   #4
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Half of the settlement came from a Florence bar because snow was pushed onto the trail when the bar parking lot was plowed.
He didn't "slip on ice." Someone created a dangerous situation for trail users. I actually agree with the sentiment of the suit. I do agree with the sentiment against him breaking the law.

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John Cornish tells the Ravalli Republic for a story published Monday that people should know riding a bike at night in winter is a little dangerous.
Worst legal argument ever. People should know driving is a little dangerous. Eating out at a restaurant is a little dangerous. Even leaving the house at all is a little dangerous.

Aside from that, riding an actual bicycle at night is not dangerous with proper lighting, nor is riding in winter necessarily dangerous.
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Old 11-29-11, 09:50 PM   #5
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Not much chance of you getting any ice on Baseline or Waterman.
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Old 11-29-11, 10:08 PM   #6
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We get snow there, just not winter snow, nose snow.
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Old 11-30-11, 08:54 PM   #7
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He didn't "slip on ice." Someone created a dangerous situation for trail users. I actually agree with the sentiment of the suit. I do agree with the sentiment against him breaking the law.
Unless he crashed into the snow berm created by the plowing, there is no reason the bar, or anyone other than the cyclist's insurance provider, should pay for his medical bills. Icy ground conditions are not caused by plows, they're caused by weather. In Montana, icy ground conditions can exist in the winter, and that's no one's fault (unless it's God's fault, if you lean that way).

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Worst legal argument ever. People should know driving is a little dangerous. Eating out at a restaurant is a little dangerous. Even leaving the house at all is a little dangerous.

Aside from that, riding an actual bicycle at night is not dangerous with proper lighting, nor is riding in winter necessarily dangerous.
Have you ever ridden on ice? It can make you crash, and as such winter riding where ice is possible can be dangerous. This is no different than a motorist traveling too fast for road conditions and causing/having an accident. If there is ice, or a chance of ice, you might want to slow down and not out-ride your lights. If the guy just slipped on a patch of ice, then he is %100 at fault, and this payout is total BS.


I highly recommend watching this video on mute (I really hate this song).

Last edited by GriddleCakes; 11-30-11 at 08:58 PM. Reason: added video
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Old 11-30-11, 09:11 PM   #8
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Story needs more details. Restaurant's snow clearing service should be fined for pushing snow into bike path. Dunno how snowpile caused accident, though. Maybe path was mostly clear and cyclist went off piste onto ice patch in order to avoid snow pile? Maybe snow pile created puddle during day that froze at night.

I ride on the ice with studs all the time. I'm not all that sue-happy though. Once I coulda sued the city for new bars, brake lever and bar tape after hitting an ice patch under a bridge. The water was drainage off a hillside that had flowed onto the otherwise clear and dry path. The area is an underpass so it's on a downhill slope and in a dark area. I hit it going about 18 mph and went down instantly.
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Old 11-30-11, 09:16 PM   #9
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Once I coulda sued the city for new bars, brake lever and bar tape after hitting an ice patch under a bridge. The water was drainage off a hillside that had flowed onto the otherwise clear and dry path. The area is an underpass so it's on a downhill slope and in a dark area. I hit it going about 18 mph and went down instantly.
Out of curiosity, what would you have expected the city to have done to prevent this accident?
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Old 11-30-11, 09:31 PM   #10
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Throw down salt or chemicals like they do on bridges, put up "Ice Under Bridge" signage I dunno. In reality I didn't and don't expect them to do anything about it but I've read some stories from hardcore bike advocates that would've thought this patch of ice wholly unacceptable! Picket city hall!!!!

If they could plow the MUPs up here in Vancouver (previous story was in Portland) when it snows that would be pretty cool, though. They do that in some cities.
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Old 11-30-11, 09:54 PM   #11
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I wonder what kind of person sets up a video camera to record dozens of people falling instead of, I don't know, doing something to help prevent people from falling. This looks like a popular route for commuters of all types. Sprinkle some sand, put a sign, anything.
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Old 11-30-11, 10:05 PM   #12
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Salt or chemicals might or might not remove all of the ice, depending on the depth, and can adverse effects upon the local ecosystem. Plowing will remove snow, but not ice in an environment with consistently below freezing temps. A sign warning of ice seems like it'd be more reliable; and if it's a recurring problem at that spot, then it'd be worth the time to contact your local Dept of Public Safety to point this out. Even up here they put "Ice in Tunnel" signs up along the MUP in the swing season, although they take them down as soon as winter proper arrives.

Still, if the temps are below freezing, it really should be up to the individual to watch out for ice. I don't see how the organization that maintains the trail that the cyclist fell on is any more responsible for icy conditions that will knock a cyclist down than they are for windy conditions that will knock a cyclist down. I've personally bit it trying to corner too fast on wet pavement in the middle of summer, and it was no one fault but my own. It's the outdoors; weather happens, ride accordingly.
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Old 11-30-11, 10:09 PM   #13
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I wonder what kind of person sets up a video camera to record dozens of people falling instead of, I don't know, doing something to help prevent people from falling. This looks like a popular route for commuters of all types. Sprinkle some sand, put a sign, anything.
A sign would've been nice. Perhaps the videographer called a gov't agency, which was in the process of filling out the paperwork to initiate the request to call for the work order to put up a sign, and the video just captured all of the people who fell during the time it took for the sign to arrive.
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Old 12-01-11, 09:24 AM   #14
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The way modern life works:

1. It is always someone else's fault.
2. Choose a "someone else" with enough money to make it worthwhile
3. Lawyers are the only one's who truly benefit from this approach.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:07 AM   #15
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Lots of people find the video's crashes highly entertaining and funny as hell. I hope no one was even mildly injured, but I saw a couple of hard hits, maybe a faceplant. While I find the lawsuit distasteful (and wrong) as all get-out, there should be some common sense and courtesy for the piling snow. I can see it it now... our valued customers must park their cars, it's OK to pile the snow on a bike path, "those people" don't matter. A hundred grand? Holy smokers! Did the motorbiker need extensive surgery?
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Old 12-01-11, 11:17 AM   #16
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I wonder why we make laws banning motorized vehicles, even motorized bikes, from a path if we are going to reward someone for breaking that law? It makes it seems like motorcycles could use this path as well and then someone can award the motorcyclist for breaking the law if he fell down after hitting a bicycist. There used to be a law in Texas I believe that wouldn't award an accident victum anything if they were breaking the law when the accident happened. The asumption by the court was if the person wasn't breaking the law they wouldn't have been in place for the accident to happen. My opinion only is this person was responsible for breaking the restriction on motorized vehicles using the trail. People committing a crime should never be awarded for breaking the law.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:28 AM   #17
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I've a friend who likes to point out that we no longer have accidents just liabilities.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:35 AM   #18
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I wonder what kind of person sets up a video camera to record dozens of people falling instead of, I don't know, doing something to help prevent people from falling. This looks like a popular route for commuters of all types. Sprinkle some sand, put a sign, anything.
For all we know the videographer may have already applied sand to the path that day and even posted signs. Only a couple of cyclists really came into that corner way too hot.

When the whole city is coated in a 1/4" of ice negotiating a 6' diameter 90 turn on it without studs is going to be pretty difficult, sand or no sand.
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Old 12-04-11, 09:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
Have you ever ridden on ice? It can make you crash, and as such winter riding where ice is possible can be dangerous. This is no different than a motorist traveling too fast for road conditions and causing/having an accident. If there is ice, or a chance of ice, you might want to slow down and not out-ride your lights.
Cycling in winter doesn't necessarily mean riding on ice. I've ridden year-round in Chicago for the last few years. There are really not that many days where I couldn't go out or make my commute due to hazardous road conditions. I also take the route with as few and as low speed turns as possible.

The argument the guy made about it being common sense that riding 1. at night and 2. during winter being dangerous is flawed, on both counts. Neither is inherently dangerous.

Apparently, it was decided that the bar was partially responsible.

Last edited by tadawdy; 12-04-11 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 12-04-11, 10:17 PM   #20
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Really not enough information in the first post or the linked piece. Don't know the whole story.
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Old 12-05-11, 12:10 AM   #21
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In this case the plaintiff was rewarded for breaking the law with his motorized bicycle!!

That's wrong!!
Agreed, but sadly given that thieves have successfully sued homeowners for loss of income when they've been injured while breaking into a home what do you expect?
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Old 12-05-11, 12:19 AM   #22
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He didn't "slip on ice." Someone created a dangerous situation for trail users. I actually agree with the sentiment of the suit. I do agree with the sentiment against him breaking the law.
Was the snow actually plowed onto the trail or just up near it? If it was plowed up onto the trail itself then yes, the bar and/or whoever they hired is responsible for what happens as a result of their snow removal efforts. But I don't see how the city, county or state should be held responsible.

Especially considering that the person in question was riding a type of vehicle that is not allowed to be on that trail.

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Worst legal argument ever. People should know driving is a little dangerous. Eating out at a restaurant is a little dangerous. Even leaving the house at all is a little dangerous.

Aside from that, riding an actual bicycle at night is not dangerous with proper lighting, nor is riding in winter necessarily dangerous.
Agreed.
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Old 12-05-11, 12:37 AM   #23
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Salt or chemicals might or might not remove all of the ice, depending on the depth, and can adverse effects upon the local ecosystem. Plowing will remove snow, but not ice in an environment with consistently below freezing temps. A sign warning of ice seems like it'd be more reliable; and if it's a recurring problem at that spot, then it'd be worth the time to contact your local Dept of Public Safety to point this out. Even up here they put "Ice in Tunnel" signs up along the MUP in the swing season, although they take them down as soon as winter proper arrives.

Still, if the temps are below freezing, it really should be up to the individual to watch out for ice. I don't see how the organization that maintains the trail that the cyclist fell on is any more responsible for icy conditions that will knock a cyclist down than they are for windy conditions that will knock a cyclist down. I've personally bit it trying to corner too fast on wet pavement in the middle of summer, and it was no one fault but my own. It's the outdoors; weather happens, ride accordingly.


Agreed, recently while I was out riding as I was leaving a parking lot and my front wheel hit a patch of sand or loose gravel.and down I went, skinning my knee. I guess if I was an "ambulance chaser" I could have considered suing the property owner. But why, I've ridden through that particular driveway I don't know how many times before and I am sure that I will do so many times in the future. All without hitting a loose patch of sand/gravel and falling.

Hell, I've probably rode over that loose patch of sand/gravel in the past without falling. Falling is part and partial with riding. We all fall, if it can't be avoided try to do it where no one is watching, if that's unavoidable then do it in a spectacular manner.
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Old 12-05-11, 12:50 AM   #24
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For all we know the videographer may have already applied sand to the path that day and even posted signs. Only a couple of cyclists really came into that corner way too hot.

When the whole city is coated in a 1/4" of ice negotiating a 6' diameter 90 turn on it without studs is going to be pretty difficult, sand or no sand.
Here's a question, let's say that the videographer or some other good Samaritan sanded or salted the ice. It melts and refreezes creating an even greater danger. Who then is responsible? Or they make a homemade sign warning of the danger and someone still gets injured, again who is a fault?
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Old 12-05-11, 01:36 AM   #25
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Cycling in winter doesn't necessarily mean riding on ice. I've ridden year-round in Chicago for the last few years. There are really not that many days where I couldn't go out or make my commute due to hazardous road conditions. I also take the route with as few and as low speed turns as possible.
Given that the cyclist in question "hit a patch of ice and crashed", I'd say that in this situation the winter cycling hazard encountered by the cyclist was most definitively riding on ice.

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The argument the guy made about it being common sense that riding 1. at night and 2. during winter being dangerous is flawed, on both counts. Neither is inherently dangerous.
Both riding and driving at night are inherently more dangerous than riding and driving during the day. Both riding and driving during the winter are inherently more dangerous than riding and driving in the summer, depending upon conditions (like, say, below freezing temperatures, where any daytime melt will have turned to ice). Because they are both more dangerous than more favorable conditions, it should be incumbent upon anyone riding or driving in said conditions to exercise a reasonable amount of caution.

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Apparently, it was decided that the bar was partially responsible.
No, the bar's insurance provider decided that paying the litigious cyclist an out-of-court settlement was a better business decision than pursuing the claim in court and risking a much higher payout. As the claim was settled out of court, nothing was decided beyond the fiscal decisions of the insurance companies involved.

Dude hit a patch of ice and went down. It happens. It's happened to me. It's happened to some of my friends. It's no one's fault but the cyclist's for not recognizing that at night his ability to see road hazards is greatly limited, and that seasonally specific road hazards like icy patches exist when temps drop below freezing. Don't outride your lights, ever, summer or winter. Don't be surprised when you hit ice at below freezing temps. If the cyclist had washed out after riding too fast into a wet corner after persistent rain storms, would you still insist that he wasn't at fault?

There are plenty of civil cases that bring to light harmful and socially neglectful wrongdoings by corporations, government agencies, and individuals (people often bring up the McDonalds 'hot coffee' lawsuit as an example of frivolous litigation, when it actually demonstrates the tendancy of corporate entities to prioritize profit over human welfare [despite numerous instances and lawsuits, many involving extensive and expensive medical procedures for the victims, McDonalds accountants had established that it was cheaper to pay out piddling out-of-court claims rather than lower the temperature standard for their coffee, which would necessitate a more regular rotation of batches of coffee and cause greater food waste and profit loss]); and the ability of civil cases to create an incentive for corrective action by the bigger guy after causing unjust harm to the little guy in the absence of a violation of criminal law is a strong justification for the existence of the civil court system. This "I slipped on ice because it was icy outside now someone pay my medical bills plus some" case is an obvious abuse of the civil court, and weakens our society as a whole by making a potential tool for justice appear frivolous, ridiculous, and easily abused by the opportune and greedy.

Last edited by GriddleCakes; 12-05-11 at 01:53 AM. Reason: clarification and grammar
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