After hitting a bridge expansion joint on the Lee Bridge in Richmond and flatting out last month, Duathlete and bike injury lawyer Doug Landau noted with interest the case reported this month in the Hartford Courant. A Superior Court jury awarded a former mountain biker and children’s book illustrator $2.9 million for injuries suffered in a bicycle accident on land owned by the Metropolitan District Commission (“MDC”). The jury ruled that the MDC had improperly placed a steel grate on a recreational path. According to the news report, the biker struck the steel grate and broke her neck.
The six-person jury awarded the money last week Friday to the injured athlete after finding that the regional water and sewer authority improperly placed a steel gate across a path within the Talcott Mountain Recreation Area. The 35-year-old Rocky Hill Plaintiff was biking on a trail in the area, also known as the West Hartford Reservoir, when she struck the gate, breaking four vertebrae in her neck in May of 2002. The MDC had installed the gate to block motor vehicle access to the water. The MDC’s chief in-house lawyer said through a spokeswoman that the MDC was surprised by the verdict and intends to appeal. For more on this interesting case, see tomorrow’s post