SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — An 88-year-old woman who tripped over a Lyft scooter in Santa Monica, fracturing her hip and elbow, is suing the city, the rideshare company, and the Santa Monica Community College District.
According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, Dorothy "Dolly" Green was attending class at the Santa Monica Community College Emeritus, a school for older adults, when she tripped over a scooter parked in front of the school.
Green sustained multiple fractures to her hip and elbow that required surgery, according to her first amended complaint.
The victim's daughter, Paula Green, says she was dropping her mother off at the school in September 2018 the day the incident occurred. When she pulled into a loading zone, she saw it was covered with scooters.
"It was so crowded and she tried to get through there and somehow one of the scooters ended up catapulting her back into the street. She was on the floor. There was blood everywhere. Her arm is ripped to the bone," Paula Green said.
The "passenger loading only" zone in front of the school where her mother was dropped of was reported as being designated by the city as a "no deployment zone" for electric scooters.
The fall came five days after the city launched a Shared Mobility Pilot Program, that allowed electric scooter and bike rental companies Lyft, Bird, Lime and Uber's Jump, to deploy scooters and bikes in Santa Monica.
According to SMDP, the complaint alleged that Lyft and the city were negligent and created a public nuisance in allowing scooters to be parked in front of a loading zone in front of a school for the elderly after designating the area as a "no deployment zone," and asked for at least $500,000 in damages.
"Ms. Green suffered five fractures in her pelvis. Her quality of life and independence have dramatically changed as a result of her injuries," said Green's attorney Catherine Lerer. "The responsible parties must pay for the harm caused."
Lyft and the city opposed the complaint but were overruled in Los Angeles Superior Court.
"(The city) argues it is immune from liability because the decision to impound or not impound a scooter is a policy decision. The court disagrees," Los Angeles Superior Court's Theresa Traber. "This decision is not a basic policy decision. Rather, this decision is an operational decision."
Spokespersons for the City of Santa Monica and Lyft had not responded to requests for comment at the time of this report.
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