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Judge and Gavel
Proven Advocacy since 1983

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  • Richard L. Duquette

David & Goliath: Evening Dangers of Bike Riding - Triathlete Mother Wins

A triathlete and mother of two went out for a training ride on her bicycle after work, but crashed into large wood timbers left straddling the marked bicycle lane. She flew over the handlebars and fractured her elbow (the radius head). Her expensive halogen headlamp did not illuminate the road in time as the wood beams blended into the road that night.

The wood nuisance was primarily caused by Carlsbad Developers who ran about the sloppy construction site. They failed to supervise, inspect and secure wood beams used on the job site. Investigation determined that even a local resident complained about the sloppy job site debris blocking the bike lane, and the sidewalk – forcing him and his dog to walk out into the street for fear of tripping.

The brave triathlete/mother, refused to give up when reasonable settlement demands were ignored by the defendant developer. Ultimately this forced a flurry of legal action and finger pointing between the sub-contractors. Instead of taking responsibility and prorating the settlement funds, the defendants stonewalled. When the dust settled the bicyclist recovered a modest five figure settlement. Here are a few tips:

Tip # 1 – Reduce your speed when riding at night so that you have time to react when your halogen lights illuminate a danger.

Tip # 2 – Take photos of the debris and connect it the culprit. i.e. use your cell phone to get pictures on the spot! See more articles on my web site on what to do if you crash!

Tip # 3 – File complaints (via e-mail or letter) with the City if you see a dangerous condition. I believe it would be good to have a list of the City engineering departments available on line so that this could be done easily. Imagine if all bicycle clubs/groups published the phone numbers to the Cities…. in order to fix dangerous conditions – WOW!


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