Cyclist suing City of Edmonton for $152K; claims pothole-related injuries

WATCH ABOVE: A cyclist who claims he was injured by a pothole is suing the city. Fletcher Kent has more on the legal action.

EDMONTON — Each year, hundreds of motorists file pothole damage claims with the City of Edmonton and now, a cyclist is adding his call for compensation.

According to a Statement of Claim filed on May 11, 2015, Troy Donovan was riding his bicycle east on 104 Avenue near 119 Street around 12:30 a.m. on June 23, 2013, when he hit a patch of rough road.

“He came upon a stretch of unmarked and dangerous potholes and cracks in the pavement that he was unable to avoid,” the document reads.

“As a result of his bike hitting a pothole, he lost control and was thrown to the pavement.

Story continues below advertisement

“As a result of the accident, the bike was damaged and Troy sustained serious injuries.”

The Statement of Claim says the injuries he sustained included a closed head injury with temporary loss of consciousness, glenoid and clavicle fractures, bruised ribs, cuts and scratches, and a “six per cent permanent impairment of the whole person at this time” with a further one to nine per cent impairment expected, due to post traumatic osteoarthritis.

“When people get hurt as a result of a municipal government failing to meet this standard of care and the duty of care owed to people… it’s a serious thing,” said Donovan’s lawyer Cynthia Carels.

READ MORE: City dealing with huge increase in pothole damage claims 

“More than just hubcaps, more than just broken axles. We have broken bones here. We have potential lives that are at risk here if we don’t make sure our roads are maintained safely.”

The Statement of Claim explains Donovan is suing the city for approximately $152,500.

He’s seeking remedies in a number of areas, including damages for pain and suffering, damages for past loss of income, loss of housekeeping capacity, future loss of earning capacity and damages for cost of future care.

“When it’s a really serious injury that leaves somebody with a permanent disability, it’s really worth looking at that and bringing it into the public forum,” said Carels.

Story continues below advertisement

The city shouldn’t be expected to fill every pothole immediately, she said, but there should be a good inspection system in place.

“If they know that there’s a danger and they can’t get to it in a timely fashion, it’s also important for them to make sure that they at least put up some warning signs so that people know to avoid the hazard.”

The Statement of Claim says the intersection is a common commuter road, used by various forms of transit including vehicles, buses and bicycles. It also says the city received complaints about the condition of the avenue prior to the accident and failed to mark the “dangerous potholes and cracks as a hazard.”

None of the claims made in the document have been proven in court.

Brian Cowan rides his bike around Edmonton almost every day. He said he encounters road conditions similar to Donovan’s regularly.

“Potholes, glass and debris left from crashes… Potholes is one of the big ones.”

“You’re riding along, you’re taking a path… you try to get around it, you get in the way of the vehicle, next thing you know you have a motorist yelling at you,” Cowan said.

“If you hit one unexpectedly you’re going to go over… All you can do is duck and roll.”

Story continues below advertisement

Donovan filed a pothole damage claim with the City of Edmonton, but it was rejected.

Global News contacted the city for comment, but we were told it cannot speak about cases that are before the courts.