New York cyclist Sabine von Sengbusch injures pedestrian - then sues her
From the New York Post
November 27, 2011 8:23PM
A NEW York cyclist is suing a pedestrian whose elbow she shattered when she ran into her in Central Park.
Despite the walker's obvious pain, bike-riding triathlete Sabine von Sengbusch, 46, contends that she is the injured party, the New York Post reports.
Ms Von Sengbusch, a health care administrator, says she was using the utmost care on her morning ride, and that the pedestrian, 28-year-old lawyer Meghan Rohan, caused the June 15 crash when she recklessly walked into the bike lane.
The athlete claims she suffered "great physical pain and mental anguish" after the crash, was unable to work and was left with "painful and permanent" injuries - even though she finished second at an October 1 triathlon.
State law gives pedestrians the right of way, but Ms Von Sengbusch is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit.
Longtime personal-injury lawyer Susan Karten, who is not involved in the case, called the biker's suit "outrageous" and "disgraceful".
"The bicyclist has the obligation to watch out for pedestrians - it's not the other way around," she said. "I've never heard of such a thing. It's like a pedestrian getting hit by a car, and the [motorist] suing the pedestrian and saying, 'You didn't get out of the way'."
Ms Rohan's lawyer, Louis Adolfsen, said the cyclist's suit was unusual.
"The idea that someone would sue you, when they hit you with a bike, seems to me unthinkable," he said. "I've never seen anything like this."
A recent study by two Hunter College professors found at least 1000 bike-pedestrian accidents every year throughout New York, with most concentrated in New York City's five boroughs.
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