Local News

Injured Bicyclist Loses Pot Hole Case

(Indianapolis, IN) - A woman seriously injured when her bicycle traveling downhill struck a pothole near the lakefront in Michigan City came out on the losing end after taking her case for damages to the Indiana Supreme Court.


Laura Johnson sued the City of Michigan City after her plans to join the National Guard were detailed by her physical limitations suffered in the April 2017 crash.


According to court findings, after striking a large pothole on Duneland Beach Drive, Johnson flew over her handlebars. After three surgeries on her broken leg, Johnson was not able to walk on her own six months after the crash and underwent physical therapy.


The injury never completely healed, though, and she could not pass the physical test required to be accepted into the National Guard, court findings revealed.


Johnson alleged the pothole and overall poor condition of the street resulted from negligence by the city.


However, in late January, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the ruling in June by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The appellate judges ruled the city was immune from negligence.


The judges found the city doesn’t have the money to maintain all roads at once but has a system to inspect 20-percent of the streets every year and prioritize the ones for upcoming repair.


In addition, the city had already determined Duneland Beach Drive needed resurfacing before the crash and was preparing to select a contractor to perform the work, the appellate judges ruled.


However, the defendant argued the city could have filled the pothole before the crash and resurfacing.

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