Ronald Corwin is suing Citi Bike for $15 million. He currently suffers nerve damage in his brain as a result of a Citi Bike crash in NYC last October. Corwin was injured when he flipped over a bicycle he was riding after his front wheel hit a concrete barrier installed next to the bicycle docking station at E. 56th St. and Madison Ave. As a result of the crash Corwin currently suffers from traumatic nerve palsy that has left him unable to taste and smell. “Everything tastes like cardboard,” says Smiley (Corwin’s lawyer). “It’s terrible. He’s lost the pleasure of tasting food and of literally smelling the roses” (Lazzaro, 2014).
Corwin and his lawyer insist that Citi Bike is at fault because, there was no indication that the large cement barrier was there. “There were no cones or colored warnings to alert a bicyclist of its existence,” said Smiley. “It constituted a trap for the unwary” (Lazzaro, 2014). Corwin claims the barrier, also called a “wheelstop” was negligently placed there as it blends in with the painted street lines. Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the Citi Law Department says “We are not going to discuss pending litigation” (Lazzaro, 2014).
Corwin’s said to be the first and only personal injury lawsuit against the bike share program. Although there weren’t any cones or colored markings to indicate the concrete barrier at the time, both were implemented once another man went airborne after a run-in with the same “wheelstop” later that month. Citi Bikes contract with the NYC is said to protect the city from claims, placing responsibility for the lawsuit solely on the operator. The city has declined to comment on the litigation thus far.