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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

City to pay cyclist paralyzed in crash $1.25 million [Columbus Dispatch]


Columbus has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a lawsuit that said large potholes on a city street contributed to a crash that left a bicyclist paralyzed - a decision that puts cities across the state on notice they can be held liable for streets in disrepair.
W. Justin Crabtree will be awarded the settlement after he sued the city, saying the potholes on Williams Road on the city’s South Side were a factor in his bicycle crash with a car in January 2006.
Crabtree and his friend, Terry Blake, were riding bikes when Andre Cook, tried to pass them in his car, according to court documents.
Cook passed Blake, but struck Crabtree, who was left a quadriplegic. A witness said Crabtree had to ride toward the center of the road right before the crash because of potholes in his path.
Crabtree and his attorney, John M. Alton, took the city to court saying it was negligent because of the potholes, but lost the Common Pleas Court decision. They appealed to the 10th District Court of Appeals, which reconsidered the city’s argument that it couldn’t be held liable for nuisances such as potholes or malfunctioning traffic lights.

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