A San Antonio woman is suing the city of San Antonio and scooter company Lime for an injury she sustained after a scooter she was riding hit a hole in the street.
Tina Galvan, 47, rode a Lime scooter the evening of June 15 when she hit a small pothole in the street and was thrown.
The lawsuit said Galvan didn’t see the hole because of limited lighting.
“The failure of the Lime scooter caused Plaintiff to be suddenly and unexpectedly ejected from the scooter and thrown to the ground, resulting in serious injuries to her head, face, neck, knee, forearm and wrist,” said the lawsuit. The scooter’s design prevented it from traversing a pothole, which is the noted failure, according Galvan’s lawyers.
“When I came to my knee was swollen so bad I couldn’t walk and (it was) bleeding, my forehead was bleeding, my teeth had gone through my bottom lip and my arm was broken,” said Galvan in a phone interview.
Her front teeth are loose, she said, and she has painful slipped discs in her back, along with pain in her knee. She was unable to move because of the broken arm but was able to dial 911. She was brought to Baptist Hospital downtown.
The lawsuit said the lack of street markings warning riders constituted city negligence. The intersection — East Carson and Muncey — had recently been repaved.
The hole appeared about the width of a standard automobile tire and less than 4 inches long in provided photos.
“San Antonio knowingly left the condition of the roadway in a dangerous condition as it relates to lawful e-Scooter users,” the lawsuit said.
This is the first reported lawsuit against the city but may not be the last. Between August of last year and June 6, nearly 200 EMS calls resulted in dozens or people taken to area hospitals. Injuries declined markedly after scooters were no longer allowed to be operated overnight.
The city banned sidewalk scooter riding July 1, and the condition of city streets have often been brought up as a cause for concern by cyclists and scooter riders.
“I’m absolutely not surprised about this litigation and would expect more,” said Rey Saldana, former councilman for District 4, who voted for the sidewalk ban. “San Antonio has been allergic to investing in ways to share the roads with anyone but cars.”
Regardless of San Antonio’s infrastructure deficits, which in many ways are shared with cities across the country, the lawsuit highlights a user manual from manufacturers recommending riders only ride on sidewalks.
This is not the first lawsuit against Neutron Holdings, Lime's parent company, as well as other scooter companies. A class-action lawsuit was filed last October for gross negligence against Lime and Bird, as well as scooter manufacturers Xiaomi and Segway. Personal injury lawsuits against the companies have cropped up across the country.
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and the City of Austin showed 48% of scooter injuries were to the head, and only one person of the 190 injured evaluated wore a helmet.
24-year-old Dallas resident Jakoby Stoneking was one of a handful of known deaths resulting from scooter accidents across the country.
San Antonio city officials wrote in an email that they could not comment on pending litigation. Representatives from Lime also said in an email that they could not comment, but rider safety is their "highest priority."