A Lime scooter accident left Ashanti Jordan in a vegetative state. Now her mother is suing the company on her behalf.

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The Washington Post

Most days, when Ashanti Jordan’s shift at Broward General Medical Center ended, she got a ride home from co-workers.

But on a sunny day in late December, the outgoing 28-year-old security guard decided she would make the four-mile journey home on a Lime scooter, one of many littering the streets of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to family members. Jordan, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, was about halfway home when she collided with a Toyota Corolla at an intersection in a residential area.

The violent collision threw Jordan about 100 feet and left her with broken bones, rib fractures and a catastrophic brain injury, family members say. To relieve pressure on her swollen brain, doctors were forced to remove a large portion of her skull. Now, more than six weeks after the devastating accident, Jordan remains in a persistent vegetative state and has begun suffering from seizures, forcing doctors to return her to the hospital’s intensive care unit in recent days, family member say.

On Monday, Tracy Jordan, Ashanti’s mother, announced plans to sue Lime –– one of the world’s largest electric scooter companies –– on her daughter’s behalf for negligence, according to her lawyer, Todd R. Falzone, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer representing Jordan as the guardian of her daughter. Falzone said Lime’s app includes language that specifically instructs people not to operate scooters on local sidewalks, pushing them onto city streets instead.

In addition to being considered dangerous by many experts, operating a motorized scooter on the street is against the law in Florida and Fort Lauderdale, though the city does permit e-scooters to be ridden on sidewalks. Because she followed Lime’s instructions, Falzone said, Jordan avoided the sidewalk and was catastrophically injured.

“To this day they are telling users to break the law and, as a result, people are doing that,” Falzone said at a news conference Monday. “They are getting hit by cars, they are hitting pedestrians, they’re having all manner of accidents that shouldn’t be occurring.”

“Unfortunately,” he added, “Ashanti is going to pay for this with her life.”

Lime did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit arrives about a week after a 21-year-old exchange student from Ireland was killed in an accident involving a Lime scooter and vehicle in Austin Police say Mark Sands was riding a Lime scooter and traveling in the wrong direction on a busy downtown street early in the early morning hours of Feb. 1 when he was struck by an Uber driver, leaving him badly injured. He was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center, where he died the next day, authorities said.

He appears to be the third person killed in an accident involving Lime scooters in recent months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying the health risks associated with e-scooters by analyzing injuries to riders and pedestrians in Austin over two months. Last week, a CDC spokesperson told The Washington Post that the study should be finalized in the spring. In Fort Lauderdale, where e-scooters arrived in November, a series of high-profile accidents has made the devices hugely controversial, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31, there have been 40 incidents involving scooters,” ABC affiliate WPLG reported. “A total of 31 of them required someone be transported to the hospital, and four of those were level-1 traumas.”

Lime –– which has received hefty investments from Uber and Alphabet –– has been valued at more than $1 billion, according to Bloomberg, despite the company admitting that some of their models have caught on fire and broken in half while people are riding them. At the same time investment money was pouring into Lime, injured scooter riders began pouring into emergency rooms around the country, leading some doctors to accuse companies like Bird and Lime of spawning a public health crisis.

Falzone said the Jordan family is one of the most tragic examples of that crisis. If the company’s app is instructing people to violate local laws in one city, he said, riders in other cities could be at risk as well.

Falzone provided The Post with a screen shot that he said came from the Lime app’s “Rules and Regulations.” The rules –– to which riders must “agree” to operate the scooter –– included the following sentence: “Do not ride on the sidewalk.” In addition to being printed on the outside of the scooter, riders see that same message three separate times in the app, Falzone said. He accused Lime of violating its operating agreement with Fort Lauderdale, which requires the company to inform riders how to safely and legally operate their scooters.

“I’m worried about people around the country who are riding these things and not understanding whether they’re supposed to be riding them on the street or on the sidewalk,” he said. “You rely on the company to know the local rules.”

Falzone said his client is seeking compensatory damages that cover potential 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, with lots of friends and a love of hip hop. After high school, he said, she decided she wanted work construction, boldly inserting herself into a profession dominated by the opposite sex. Despite her toughness, he said, she’s always had a special connection with children, whether they were her four siblings or neighbors

In recent years, Falzone said, Jordan took a job in security at Broward General Medical Center, the same hospital where her mother works. The job allowed the two women to say close to one another, he said, but Tracy Jordan never expected to see her daughter admitted to their workplace as a patient.

At Monday’s news conference, Jordan said her daughter is still young, which could aid in her recovery. She remains faithful, she said, but reminders of her daughter’s suffering are hard to avoid on the streets of Fort Lauderdale.

“I just cant to even stand to see a scooter, it’s so traumatizing at this point,” she said. “I have to cover my eyes.”




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