Indiana Bicycle Accident Ruling Favors Defendant City
An Indiana bicycle accident claim will go no further after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the trial court was wrong to deny summary judgment favoring the defendant city.
According to court records in the case, the plaintiff, a mountain biker, suffered injuries to his kidney and spleen after falling from his bicycle on a portion of the Town Run Trail Park that runs through Indianapolis. The city contracts with a local mountain biking association to maintain the trails, which are rated based on difficulty and skill level required. In early 2011, an Eagle Scout designed and constructed a technical feature on the trail. The feature is best described as a berm. It created a banked wooden turn. Approaching riders would have three options: avoid it by staying on the dirt path, enter and ride on the low grade, or negotiate the turn and take the more challenging higher grade.
That summer, the plaintiff and his girlfriend went to the trail to ride for the first time since this new feature was constructed. He had about five years of experience riding, and he’d been on this trail before. However, he had not encountered this new feature. He noted in his deposition that he would usually try to get an idea of a trail’s technical requirements before riding, particularly if he was concerned about a potential danger.