Most days, when Ashanti Jordan's shift ended at Broward General Medical Center, she got co-workers to take her home.
But on a sunny day in late December, the 28-year-old outgoing security guard decided he would make the four-mile trip home on a Lime motorbike, one of many on the streets of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. the family. members. Jordan, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, was halfway home when he hit a Toyota Corolla at an intersection in a residential area.
The violent collision threw Jordan around 100 feet and left her with broken bones, broken ribs and a catastrophic brain injury, family members say. To relieve the pressure on his swollen brain, doctors had to remove a large part of his skull. Now, more than six weeks after the accident, Jordan remains in a persistent vegetative state and has begun to have seizures, forcing doctors to return her to the intensive care unit of the hospital in recent days, say members of the hospital. family.
On Monday, Tracy Jordan announced plans to sue Lime, one of the world's largest electric scooter companies, on behalf of her daughter for negligence, according to Todd R. Falzone, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer representing Tracy. Jordan as the guardian of his daughter. . Falzone said that the Lime application includes a language that specifically instructs people not to operate scooters on local sidewalks, but pushes them to the streets of the city.
Many experts believe that motorized motorcycles are dangerous, and operating them on the street is illegal in Florida, although Fort Lauderdale does allow electric bikes to be mounted on sidewalks. Because Jordan followed Lime's instructions, Falzone said, she avoided the sidewalk and suffered catastrophic injuries.
"To this day, they are telling users to break the law and, as a result, people are doing that", Falzone He said at a press conference on Monday. "They are being hit by cars, they are hitting pedestrians, they are having all kinds of accidents that should not be happening."
"Unfortunately," he added, "Ashanti will pay for this with his life."
Lime did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The lawsuit comes about a week after a 21-year-old Irish exchange student died in an accident involving a motorcycle and a Lime vehicle in Austin. Police said Mark Sands was traveling in the wrong direction on a Lime motorcycle on a busy downtown street early on the morning of February 1 when an Uber driver hit him and left him badly injured. He was taken to the Dell Seton Medical Center, where he died the next day, authorities said.
It seems to be the third person killed in an accident that involved Lime scooters in recent months.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying the health risks associated with electronic scooters by analyzing injuries to cyclists and pedestrians in Austin for two months. Last week, a spokesman for the CDC told The Washington Post that the study should end in the spring. In Fort Lauderdale, where e-scooters arrived in November, high-profile accidents have made devices highly controversial, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
"According to the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department, between December 1 and January 31, there were 40 motorcycle incidents," ABC affiliate WPLG reported. "A total of 31 of them required someone to be transported to the hospital, and four of them were level 1 traumas."
Lime, which has received significant investments from Uber and Alphabet, has been valued at more than 1 billion dollars, according to Bloomberg News, although the company admits that some of its models caught fire and broke in half while the people ride them. At the same time that investment money was invested in Lime, injured scooter drivers began to enter emergency rooms across the country, which led some doctors to accuse companies such as Bird and Lime of generating a health crisis public.
Falzone said the Jordan family is one of the most tragic examples of that crisis. If the company's application instructs people to violate local laws in a city, he said, passengers in other cities could also be at risk.
Falzone provided The Post with an image that he said came from the "rules and regulations" of the Lime application. The rules, to which passengers must "accept" operate the scooter, included the following sentence: "Do not drive on the sidewalk." In addition to being printed on the outside of the scooter, that same message appears three times in the application, said Falzone, who accused Lime of violating its operation agreement with Fort Lauderdale, which requires the company to inform passengers how to do it in a manner Safe and legal. operate your scooters.
"I'm worried that people across the country are riding these things and do not understand if they're supposed to ride on the street or on the sidewalk," he said. "You trust the company to know the local rules."
Falzone said his client is seeking compensatory damages to cover possible disabilities, mental anguish, hospital expenses, as well as long-term medical care and loss of income.
Before she was injured, Falzone said, Jordan was an outgoing woman with an independent personality, lots of friends and a love of hip-hop. After high school, she said, she decided that she wanted to build a job, boldly inserting herself into a profession dominated by men. Despite her harshness, she said, she has always had a special connection with children, be they her four brothers or her neighbors.
In recent years, Falzone said, Jordan took a job security at Broward General Medical Center, the same hospital where his mother works. The work allowed the two women to stay close, he said, but Tracy Jordan never expected to see her daughter admitted to her place of work as a patient.
At Monday's press conference, Jordan said her daughter is still young, which could help her recover. She remains faithful, she said, but reminders of her daughter's suffering are hard to avoid on the streets of Fort Lauderdale.
"I just can not stand seeing a scooter, it's very traumatic at the moment," he said. "I have to cover my eyes."