“Old Man Sues Citi Bike, NYC For $15M After Crash”

That’s not my headline. It’s — in its own inimitable style — the New York Post‘s.

The Daily News is a bit gentler: “Conn. man files $15 million lawsuit against NYC, Citi Bike, claiming nerve damage from bike crash.”

The gist of the stories — the Daily News’ is (surprise!) a bit longer — is that a 73-year-old man flipped over at a Citi Bike docking station last fall. He claims that nerve damage in his brain has robbed him of his senses of taste and smell.

He is believed to be the first rider in New York City’s bike-sharing program to file a personal injury suit.

The “old man” is Ronald Corwin — former Westport Planning and Zoning Commission chairman.

Ron Corwin

Ron Corwin

PS: The New York Times has not yet picked up the story.

20 responses to ““Old Man Sues Citi Bike, NYC For $15M After Crash”

  1. My local paper, The Journal News, wrote a headline about a year ago that said something like “Elderly woman drives into ditch.”

    She was 60.

    I’m surprised The Post wrote that headline. They easily could have written “Man, 73, Sues Citi Bike . . .”

  2. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    I would guess that McDonalds is happy he doesn’t order hot coffee at the drive through.

  3. I guess that’s why my spellcheck once corrected the name of my hometown to “Westort” CT. At least Mr. Corwin is to be commended to going outside of this immediate area to file his $15 million claim — which I’m sure is absolutely, positively 100% justified. (The average payout for 9/11 victims being $1.8 million, but then again, not all of them were such important people as this man.) Maybe he’ll even create a whole new category in the legal profession: the “bike and fall” case.

  4. Nice lotto ticket. If he was wearing a helmet this might not have happened but then again maybe he wanted it to happen. Tort reform anyone?

  5. The lawyers are going to love this one. I agree that the barrier is too low and is easy to miss, but the photo shows that whether he was departing from or arriving at the bike station, he shouldn’t have been going fast enough in that particular spot to fly over the handlebars. And if he was arriving, then he was riding the wrong way, against traffic. (As a New Yorker who watches CitiBikers everyday, I’m very surprised there haven’t been numerous fatalities to date, especially since few CitiBikers wear helmets.)

  6. Too funny. This is the same guy when head of Westport P&Z had his wife using her maiden name go to the zoning board of appeals to get a waiver days before he was going to pass a new P&Z regulation that would have prevented that type of work on his house. He then passed the regulation that hurt many, many people in Westport and the good fortune of the RTM over turned it. Wow. Glad he decided to do his next damage outside of Westport. Phew.

  7. The story gets even weirder: According to the Daily News article, the “Bike & Fail” plaintiff’s attorney is named Guy Smiley, same name as the Sesame Street talk show host! The Muppet Lawyer!

  8. Listen…who care what or who he is. Look at the pure merits. There is an inherent risk to operate any vehicle let alone a bike in New York City.. Do we really feel we have to sue everyone. Can a person just accept the risk and move on. Instead they must sue…for what. They had no responsibility? It reminds me everytime I drive by the many closed quintessential ski hills around Connecticut, Mass and Vermont that were shut down due to the cost of insurance because litigious individuals thought they could sue for their own stupidity… Mainly, the were not alert or were skiing beyond their ability. Face it. Skiing can be dangerous. Riding a bike in the Big Apple can be equally as risky. If I sued a ski resort for every obstacle that was inadvertently overlooked…well I would be a millionaire big time! Stop the tort nonsense!

  9. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    It’s common knowledge that Americans do love to litigate. Is this an Amendment right? Or, perhaps a simple pastime (emphasis on “simple”).
    It’s also common knowledge that this waste reflects on the U.S. healthcare system debacle.

  10. David J Loffredo

    The barrier is there so bikers don’t cut across the cross walk and endanger pedestrians, something Mr. Corwin had to have been doing at a decent rate of speed to cause whatever damage he sustained (hopefully the bike is ok, otherwise they should send him a bill).

  11. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    I think I’ve got it! I was guessing that he’s suing months after the accident because his health insurance is not providing anymore money for whatever treatment needed. However, now I see that the bike company is in bankruptcy.
    Timing is everything.

  12. Remember that Citibank slogan from some years ago:

    “Not just bankruptcy, Citibankruptcy!”

  13. David C. Linney

    Desk-jockey meatballs; only tit-for-tat irony that Westport shyster attacks City bureaucrats who’ve never put a wheel to pavement, and ENDAGERED EVERYBODY by plopping hundreds of camouflaged, concrete, 8 inch high road hazards on Manhattan avenues. ALL OTHER ROAD HAZARDS ARE PAINTED WITH YELLOW AND BLACK DIAGONAL STRIPES, or night FLOURESCENT. These are “GRAY”. They’re paying workers to spray-paint stencils that say “LOOK” off curb, instead of stripes on the curbs.
    Cars, trucks, limos turning corners, damage axles, and ALL CYCLISTS, risk their life. They must paint yellow/black stripes on ALL BIKE LANE CURBS.

  14. Taste + Smell ?

    Add them to Common, lost here in Westport years ago 🙂

  15. Re: country man get bucked off city bike and sues: riding in NYC is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. Here’s a combo that works for me: a cappuccino and an Ambien. Who needs a helmet? I cannot at this time recommend the Citi Bike/ Ambien/ Colt 45 combo though; you may end up on the Throgs Neck Bridge throwing Skittles in the water and sobbing about rainbows. Or so I’m told.

  16. John McCarthy

    Wishing Ron a full and speedy recovery.

  17. I guess that since he isn’t on the P&Z board any more, he needs to find other forms of financial gain

    • Phil Perlah


      Thanks for linking this. I always wondered why this was never criminally investigated.

  18. David J Loffredo

    After reading all of these sympathetic posts it’s clear Ron was knocked off his bike by (a) karma.

  19. Michael A. Nayor

    I was saddened by the many insensitive and essentially ignorant comments filed in response to your February 28th story entitled “Old Man Sues Citi Bike, NYC”. Those who are quick to pass judgment should at least be aware of some of the facts.

    Those facts deserve compassion. Ron Corwin was in a coma for several days. His adult children were summoned from California and New Mexico because the outcome was in question. He suffered from a fractured eye socket and a fractured pelvis. His recuperation has been slow and painful.

    Ron Corwin has been a dedicated public servant who gave a great deal of his time and talent for the betterment of Westport. For those who cannot forgive him for planning and zoning decisions they didn’t agree with – it’s time to move on.