$2.4 Million Settlement in Wrongful Death Lawsuit over Fatal Bicycle Accident
A $2.4 million dollar settlement has been reached in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Menlo Park1:
Deborah Johnson, 54, was riding her bike with a friend on Sand Hill Road on a Sunday afternoon in July 2007 when she fell and struck her head. She was taken to Stanford University Medical Center, and pronounced dead two days later.
Her husband, John Gerrity, told The Daily News that Johnson’s friend saw her fall from her bike after hitting an object in the bike lane — the flat black octagonal rubber base of a “candlestick” delineator that had become separated from its plastic orange pole. The lane divider should never have been there in the first place, he said.
Mr. Gerrity is now advocating for safer bike lanes and strict adherence to state and federal regulations:
According to the federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, used by road managers nationwide, “posts or raised pavement markers should not be used to separate bicycle lanes from adjacent travel lanes.” The same notation is made in the state’s adaptation of the manual.
The underlying problem with this and hundreds of other accidents is inadequate and poorly enforced safety regulations for construction zones, particularly temporary work zones.