L.A. man paralyzed by Bird accident
E-scooter rider is suing the city for an unkempt sidewalk that caused his lasting injuries.
Three years ago, then 23-year-old Daniel Peña was on his way to a job interview when the Bird E-scooter he was riding hit a crack in a Los Angeles sidewalk, launching him into a tree. The accident left Peña paralyzed and with lasting injuries; two portions of his cervical spine and part of his skull were fractured, and he’s suing the city.
“It’s a life-changing accident. I have good days and I have bad days,” said Daniel Peña. “Doctors have said I’m not going to walk again, or I may not walk again,” said Peña.
Peña’s lawsuit contends there was a failure by the city to maintain the tree that was owned and controlled by the city and the condition of the sidewalk. The suit presents photos showing the pavement being uneven by three inches and marred by invasive tree roots. It claims there was also trash and debris, which is hazardous and must be kept clean by Los Angeles.
But in a weird twist of fate, Peña was almost required to pay damages to himself.
He was shocked to receive a letter from Bird saying he owed them approximately a third of a million dollars. According to Bird’s agreement with the city of L.A., the scooter company is supposed to protect the city against lawsuits. Bird is obligated to pay for the city’s defense and presumably any damages Peña might be granted. As a result, Bird’s attorneys claimed Peña owed the company $322,000 in legal fees.
Bird has since issued a statement regarding their part of the suit. “The accident and injuries suffered by Mr. Peña are deeply unfortunate and while Bird was not the cause of the accident, we hope Mr. Peña has access to the care that he needs. Bird is not suing Mr. Peña and has no intention of collecting any money from Mr. Peña.”
It’s a financial relief to Peña. “That’s a big, huge relief off of my back and off my shoulders. I can feel it come off of me,” he said.
He now awaits justice, as his claim against the city of L.A. is expected to go to trial this month.
Peña’s claim will lend real-world credibility to a new UCLA study, which found the injury rate for an electric scooter rider was reportedly higher than the national injury rate for a motorcycle rider. It also draws parallels to the case of a California man suing the city of Detroit for $10 million for a Bird accident on unsafe city streets which caused TBI.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an E-scooter accident, don’t hesitate to contact the driven and caring personal injury attorneys at Adamson Ahdoot LLP. For help getting you the peace of mind and maximum compensation you deserve, contact us for a no-obligation consultation.