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Woman sues Lime after e-scooter mishap leaves her daughter in a vegetative state

Lime's app includes language that specifically instructs people not to use its scooters on sidewalks, pushing them onto the streets instead - and Florida laws ban motorised scooters from the streets.

Washington DC

MOST days, when Ashanti Jordan's shift at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ends, she gets a ride home from her co-workers.

But last December, the outgoing security guard decided to make the 6 km journey home on a Lime scooter, one of many in the city's streets, said family members.

The 28-year-old, 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 collision threw her about 30m, shattering several of her bones and giving her a catastrophic brain injury, family members said.

Now, more than six weeks later, she is in a persistent vegetative state and has begun going into seizures, forcing doctors to return her to the hospital's intensive care unit in recent days, they added.

On Monday, her mother Tracy Jordan announced plans to sue Lime - one of the world's largest electric scooter companies - on her daughter's behalf for negligence, said the family's lawyer Todd Falzone, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

He said Lime's app includes language that specifically instructs people not to operate scooters on local sidewalks, pushing them onto city streets instead.

But operating a motorised scooter on the street is against the law in Florida; in Fort Lauderdale, the city allows e-scooters on sidewalks.

Because she followed Lime's instructions, Mr Falzone said, Ms 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. They are getting hit by cars, they are hitting pedestrians, they're having all manner of accidents that shouldn't be occurring."

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, Texas. The student, Mark Sands, 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 analysing injuries to riders and pedestrians in Austin over two months.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where e-scooters arrived in November, a series of high-profile accidents has raised controversy over the devices, according to South Florida Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale's main daily.

ABC affiliate WPLG reported that according to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, between Dec 1 and Jan 31, there were 40 incidents involving scooters. Thirty one of those incidents entailed someone being transported to the hospital.

Lime, which has admitted that some of their models have caught fire and broken in half while being ridden, has received hefty investments from Uber and Alphabet. Bloomberg reported that Lime is valued at more than US$1 billion.

Mr Falzone said: "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. You rely on the company to know the local rules."

He said his client is seeking compensatory damages that cover potential disabilities, mental anguish, hospital expenses and long-term medical care and loss of income. WASHINGTON POST

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