6 people sue over alleged injuries caused by electric Citi Bikes

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Six people claim they were injured after being thrown off of electric pedal-assist Citi Bikes with faulty brakes, new court papers show.

Sabin Ciocan, Phillip Rosehill, Parke Messier, Felipe Ventura, Gautam Srikanth and Judith O’Driscoll, all claimed they were injured in separate 2019 incidents when the breaks locked and they went flying over the handlebars, their Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuits allege.

As the riders were using the pedal-assist bikes they were “caused to be seriously, severely and permanently injured, through no fault of [their] own, when the bicycle[s], without warning, inexplicably stopped and the plaintiff[s were] propelled forward and caused to be injured,” the lawsuits — variously filed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — charge.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers told The Post that Lyft — which runs Citi Bike — bought the e-bikes from manufacturer Shimano North America Holding, Inc. which recommended that power modulators be added to the hub breaking systems of each bike. Only Citi Bike never installed the power modulators, the lawyers said.

“Without the power modulator the braking system was acting in an odd fashion,” plaintiff lawyer David Perecman told The Post. “When people would brake, the front would lock up and the person would go flying over the front of the bike. It’s not like there were a couple of e-bikes on the street, they were all over the city. It was really a breach of public trust.”

Perecman said that most of his clients suffered either arm, elbow or wrist injuries and fractures as they put their hands out to protect their faces when they went flying.

Many required surgery and some had to have follow-up surgeries.

The plaintiffs are suing Lyft, Shimano and other companies that help run Citi Bike claiming they were negligent, the court papers say.

The plaintiffs are all seeking unspecified damages.

In April 2019, Citi Bike temporarily pulled roughly 1,000 e-bikes after they received a series of complaints over “stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel,” the service said at the time.

Citi Bike brought back just 250 e-bikes in February 2020 with efforts to increase the e-bike fleet to the thousands slowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lyft and Shimano did not immediately return requests for comment.

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