An Atlanta man has filed a lawsuit against e-scooter company Bird alleging the company knowingly rented scooters with faulty brakes.
Attorney Louis Levenson said his client, Simon Clopton, was thrown from a scooter and broke his arm and leg. The lawsuit, filed March 8 in Fulton County, also names software and Internet services company Xiaomi, USA, Inc. and Segway, Inc.
Bird scooter company has not responded to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s multiple requests for comment.
On Jan. 11, Clopton hopped on the scooter to head to a meeting at Georgia Tech’s campus, according to the lawsuit. The 40-year-old was riding the device at the corner of Fifth and Spring streets when it abruptly stopped.
“It just braked or yanked to the left,” Levenson said. Clopton was thrown from the scooter, injuring his right arm and leg. He had only been on the device for one to two minutes, Levenson said. It is not clear how fast Clopton was going. In Atlanta, the speed limit for scooters is 15 mph.
Nearby surveillance cameras captured the incident. Clopton was not wearing a helmet or any protective gear at the time of the accident, said Clopton attorney George Lott.
Clopton’s wife Molly Aeck is also suing for “loss of services and companionship” due to her husband’s injuries, Levenson said.
According to the lawsuit, Clopton amassed more than $156,000 in medical and other expenses. The Grant Park couple is asking for punitive damages and a jury trial.
Clopton, who is unemployed, is recovering at home.
“He is slowly improving,” Levenson said. “He’s had multiple setbacks resulting from either infections or skin issues.”
Clopton’s accident came just days after Atlanta City Council passed legislation regulating scooters. His lawsuit was filed soon after City Council began seeking information on scooter-related injuries from hospitals.
Grady Memorial Hospital, the largest hospital in Georgia, estimated it receives between 80 and 100 scooter-related injuries per month, ranging from minor scrapes and broken limbs to serious head injuries.
Across the nation, it’s estimated there have been at least 1,500 injuries related to the scooters since 2017, according to a Consumer Reports magazine study published in February. The magazine also found at least four scooter-related fatalities were confirmed nationally.
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