A lawyer who has filed a million dollar lawsuit against the City of San Antonio on behalf of a woman who was badly hurt in a scooter accident on a street east of downtown is also calling on the city to suspend all scooter use on city streets until it can come up with a better safety plan.
Brandon Bonilla has sued the City and Lime Scooters, after Tina Louise Galvan hit a hole in East Carson Street that had been left by a road construction crew. He says the City didn't put up any sort of warning flags on the hole, because transportation crews are not conditioned to think about scooter safety, and the city streets are not fit for scooter traffic.
"This hole might not have been an obstacle to some body driving a car, but it absolutely would have been an obstacle to somebody driving an electric scooter," he said.
Bonilla says Segway, the company that makes many of the scooters used by Lime and other companies, even includes a warning on its product which includes a yellow caution sign, and the statement "DO NOT ride on public roads, motorways, and highways," and warns that 'failure to follow this warning could lead to serious injury.'
But, despite this, Bonilla says Lime openly promotes itself as a transportation company.
"Defendant’s business included the advertising, promoting, marketing, inspecting, repairing, recharging, supplying and distributing Lime electronic scooters for use by the general public. Defendant solely selected the product from a manufacturer chosen by Defendant."
The lawsuit claims that Lime holds itself out as a 'transportation company.'
"As a transportation company in the business of transporting passengers in urban
environments that holds itself out for hire by the public, Lime is a common carrier," the lawsuit states. "Because the primary function of Lime is to transport from place to place, Lime is held to a higher standard of care when transporting passengers. The reason common carriers are held to a higher standard of care is that passengers should feel safe when traveling. Defendant Lime failed to exercise ordinary caution. Defendant Lime failed to exercise ordinary and reasonable care that a common carrier would have used in the same or similar circumstances when transporting Plaintiff and such failure proximately caused the injuries and damages made the basis of this suit."
Bonilla says much of the blame rests on the City's shoulders because the City has allowed scooters to travel on its streets without any sort of diligence being done, or attention paid to the safety problems posed by scooters.
"I certainly would like to see the City of San Antonio take a step back and push pause while we sort this out," he said. "There are just too many people getting hurt."
And he says the fact that scooter injuries are mounting is due to the city's negligence.
"I think the reason that they're getting injured is that dockless scooters were never designed to be used as a method of transportation. They were designed to be used as a recreational device."