Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not easy being green

King County, Washington learns the cost of good intentions:
King County has agreed to pay $3.5 million to a former Seattle man and his wife after the man suffered a permanent brain injury when he was thrown from his bicycle on a road east of Redmond.

Lawyers for Jeffrey Totten and his wife Danielle Leavell said the county was at fault because it promoted Novelty Hill Road as a bike route but failed to maintain it in a safe condition.

....Physically, emotionally and cognitively disabled, Totten will never be able to work again. A Navy veteran, he bicycled daily from his home in Seattle's Fremont district to the energy firm where he worked in Issaquah.

The accident occurred while on a longer training ride with friends.

....John Christensen, an attorney for Totten and Leavell, said the family would have asked for more money if the case had gone to a jury.

....Christensen said Totten was put in danger because of a lack of communication between the county Parks and Recreation Division, which promoted Novelty Hill Road in online and printed maps as a bike route, and the Road Services Division, which allowed a hole around the survey marker to grow deeper with successive paving jobs.

Leavell said her husband was training for the 700-mile Paris-Brest-Paris bike event when the accident occurred.

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