Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Call to action!


If you live in the Hartford area, ride a mountain bike and read the paper, you've probably been following the story about the $2.9 million awarded to Maribeth Blonski of Rocky Hill. Ms. Blonski crashed her bike into a gate at the reservoir, broke four vertebrae in her neck and sued the MDC.


Mountain biking is an inherently dangerous activity. I've hurt myself mountain biking at the Reservoir, because sometimes I'm not very good at staying upright over rocks, but I wouldn't sue over that. Conversely, I feel that if someone is willfully negligent and creates an unsafe environment, a lawsuit is warranted. So, I'm sort of torn here, because a gate is a man-made (so, a created dangerous environment), but hitting a gate indicates a lack of control over one's bicycle. I'm going to stop there, but I don't know any more details in the case. I'm sorry Ms. Blonski got hurt.

However, as I freaked out yesterday, so did Rick Green. As someone who pays for MDC water, I want mountain biking kept legal at the Reservoir. I hope you do too. Please, contact the MDC and let them know your thoughts by email, stanguay@themdc.com, or by phone, 860 278 7850. Rick says there's a meeting of the personnel, pension and insurance committee tonight. These meetings are public, as far as I know, and are at 555 Main St. in Hartford.

8 comments:

Ninjarich said...

Wrote the MDC and also left her a love note on Amazon.

Brendan said...

Well, I don't know if we want to go after anyone personally.

Ninjarich said...

Was satirical in nature, nothing vile, aggressive or offensive.

Brendan said...

There's some interesting insights in here: http://www.easternbloc.net/forms/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4778

Mark said...

It appears that the MDC is being held to a different standard than what is covered by Sec. 52-557f. Landowner liability for recreational use of land and unfortunately that is going to set precedent if something isn't done. We need some state legistlation that makes them exempt.

Brendan said...

Yeah, exactly.

It looks like MDC is subject to Sec. 52-557n. However, I'm confused because it still looks like they're exempted unless it was shown that they willfully shut that gate to injure someone.


from that subsection:
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a political subdivision of the state or any employee, officer or agent acting within the scope of his employment or official duties shall not be liable for damages to person or property resulting from: (1) The condition of natural land or unimproved property; (2) the condition of a reservoir, dam, canal, conduit, drain or similar structure when used by a person in a manner which is not reasonably foreseeable; (3) the temporary condition of a road or bridge which results from weather, if the political subdivision has not received notice and has not had a reasonable opportunity to make the condition safe; (4) the condition of an unpaved road, trail or footpath, the purpose of which is to provide access to a recreational or scenic area, if the political subdivision has not received notice and has not had a reasonable opportunity to make the condition safe; (5) the initiation of a judicial or administrative proceeding, provided that such action is not determined to have been commenced or prosecuted without probable cause or with a malicious intent to vex or trouble, as provided in section 52-568;

dougyfresh said...

this is ridiculous. the reservoir and the biking trails are the whole reason why i bought my house.

where is this meeting, brendan? I just found out about it now. kind of late for tonight's meeting though :(

Brendan said...

I believe it is/was at 555 Main Street in Hartford. That's MDC HQ. I'm going to check and figure out when the next full board meeting is. You can also contact WH's commissioners, I have Maureen Magnan's email address. Or, at least I think I do. Shoot me an email tomorrow (oiseaux at gmail dot com)