citi bike

The First Big Citi Bike Injury Lawsuit Has Been Filed

A couple get their Citi Bike bicycles from a station near Union Square as the bike sharing system is launched May 27, 2013 in New York. About 330 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn will have thousands of bicycles for rent.
Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images2013 AFP

It was bound to happen eventually: Someone hurt while riding a Citi Bike is suing the city for millions in what appears to be the first personal-injury lawsuit since the system launched last spring. Ronald Corwin, 73, claims he flipped over his rented bike when he hit a concrete barrier installed near a docking station on East 56th Street near Madison Avenue. “This has turned my life inside out,” he says in today’s Daily News, explaining that nerve damage in his brain has sapped him of his sense of smell and taste. The Connecticut man wants $15 million for the pain and suffering.

Everything tastes like cardboard,” says Corwin’s lawyer. “It’s terrible. He’s lost the pleasure of tasting food and of literally smelling the roses.”

He blames the six-foot wide, six-inch high “wheelstop” that sits precariously near the bike rack. “There were no cones or colored warnings to alert a bicyclist of its existence. It constituted a trap for the unwary,” the lawyer claims. (The city refused to comment.)

And Corwin is not alone. In October, when he was hurt, DNAinfo reported that a second accident had occurred in the same spot, thanks to the same barrier. It was then spray painted orange for visibility and adorned with a traffic cone. But as a witness to one crash said at the time, “That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.” 

Photo: DNAinfo/Heather Holland
First Big Citi Bike Injury Lawsuit Filed