City of Chicago Settles E-Scooter Rider’s Personal Injury Lawsuit for $600K
The City of Chicago agreed to settle an electric scooter rider’s personal injury lawsuit for $600,000, after more than two years of litigation, over a pothole-related crash.
The plaintiff, Eloy Scheunemann, alleged that, on June 18, 2019, he was seriously injured when his rented e-scooter encountered a “baseball-sized” hole, in a bike lane, on the 900 block of North Wood Street. Scheunemann struck the hole, fell from the scooter and sustained injuries to his right knee, requiring multiple surgeries and a lengthy hospital stay.
The incident occurred on just the third day of the City’s initial 2019 e-scooter pilot program.
Scheunemann’s lawyers, LegalRideshare LLC, alleged that the City had notice of the hole for at least one week before the fall. Documents and testimony allegedly demonstrated that Chicago Department of Transportation workers were dispatched to the exact location of the crash seven days before the incident, observed the hole, and failed to take corrective action.
The City argued that the hole did not exist, or, alternatively, that Scheunemann encountered either a newly formed condition, or one that workers had already filled. The City further contended that it had no notice of the hole and, therefore, could not be held liable for any injuries allegedly caused by it.
Scheunemann’s lawyers said they were pleased with the outcome and that justice was served for their client. LegalRideshare attorney and co-founder Bryant M. Greening said several law firms turned down Scheunemann soon after the crash, believing he had no case. Greening said many lawyers shy away from scooter-related matters, as they often require substantial time, resources, and particular knowledge. “I’m proud that we fought for Eloy,” Greening said. “The most difficult cases are often the most rewarding.”
Greening said Scheunemann’s case highlights the hazards associated with e-scooters. “There are a million ways to be injured on these devices,” Greening said. “Scooter riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists — no one is immune from injuries caused by electric scooters.”
The risks associated with e-scooters are well known to City officials. Data from the Chicago’s 2019 pilot program found that 1 in every 2,200 e-scooter rides resulted in an emergency room injury, with first-time riders accounting for two-thirds of said injuries.
Scheunemann himself was a first-time scooter rider on the date of his injury.
There is some irony to the timing of the Scheunemann settlement, as the City recently renewed its e-scooter program, after a nearly two-year hiatus. Rental e-scooters hit Chicago streets earlier this month.
“The most important thing is that nothing like this ever happens to anyone else’s spouse, sibling, friend or loved one.” Greening said. “Here’s hoping for a safe, injury-free summer for anyone who chooses to ride an electric scooter.”
LegalRideshare LLC is the first law firm in the United States entirely dedicated to protecting the rights of those injured in rideshare, e-scooter and app-based accidents. Attorney Greening can be reached at (312) 767–7950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.