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Pima county bike accident may prove to be expensive

A bicycle accident in Pima County may prove to be very expensive if a high-ranking public official has his way. According to several media reports, the county’s chief deputy administrator was injured in such an accident last summer while riding on the Dodge Boulevard Bridge at the Rillito River. During his ride, his front tire got stuck in a “drainage gap” which caused him to be thrown over the handlebars. He was severely injured in the crash. He suffered several broken bones in his back which reportedly required nine surgeries over the course of six months.

After the accident occurred, county officials closed the bridge to bike riders and performed work to make sure the area was safe for other bicyclists. While it was not detailed in the article, it is reasonable to assume that the injured administrator could not work while he recovered from his injuries and surgeries. He has since returned to work on a part-time basis.

However, he has brought suit against the county claiming that the county was negligent in keeping an unsafe bike trail open, which was the proximate cause of his injuries. As a matter of law, municipal entities have a duty to use reasonable care in maintaining public facilities, including trails and parks. If it can be proven that the county’s breached this duty, and that such a breach is the proximate cause of a person’s injuries, it can be held liable.

In the meantime, Pima County has hired legal counsel and a bicycle safety expert to evaluate the administrator’s claims.

Source: “High-ranking county official sues Pima County over bike accident,” Jamar Younger, April 22, 2014

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