Bike rider's lawyer requests permission to file amended complaint

Christina Stueve Jul. 19, 2012, 11:00am


A bicyclist who allegedly fell more than 10 feet when a road came to an end because he thought there was a bike trail beyond, but there really wasn't, has asked to file a first amended complaint against the Agency for Community Transit.

Ian Hester filed a lawsuit April 26 in Madison County Circuit Court, alleging the July 24, 2011 incident occurred because the road he was on had the appearance that the bike path continued at the road's end.

Hester's attorney requested to file an amended complaint to conform to evidence adduced through discovery to date.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth on June 29 continued the case to Aug. 24, based on the defendant's motion to dismiss. Continuing the case would allow the plaintiff time to further research the case, according to Ruth's order.

Because of his fall, Hester claims he suffered a fracture in his heel bone and compression fractures in his back. In addition, he incurred medical costs, lost wages and was prevented from attending to his duties, according to the complaint.

The Agency for Community Transit filed a motion to dismiss May 25, stating a local public entity is not liable for an injury where the liability is based on the existence of a condition of any public property permitted to be used for recreational purposes, including parks or other recreational facilities unless the local entity is guilty of willful and wanton conduct causing the injury.

The Agency also argues that if the plaintiff's negligence is determined to be less than 50 percent of the cause of his injuries, any damages allowed must be diminished in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the plaintiff for failure to exercise ordinary care in causing his own injuries.

Hester seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.

Donald Ohl of Knapp, Ohl & Green represents the Agency for Community Transit.

Samantha S. Unsell of Belleville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-549.

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