City Desk

Woman Falls From Erratic Segway, Sues Bike and Roll

Here's some further proof that tourists and Segways in D.C. can be a dangerous combination.

A New York woman was ejected from her erratic Segway while on a guided tour of D.C.'s tourist attractions, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court for D.C. Thursday against Bike and Roll Washington D.C. The suit states that Jordana Casciano was on a Bike and Roll tour in October 2013, rolling on a Segway Personal Transporter named "Millie."

Casciano was taking in the sites near the U.S. Botanic Garden with her husband when her Segway started to reverse and spin violently without command, crashing into the cement sidewalk and causing her to be ejected.

"Plaintiff JORDANA CASCIANO was riding experienced a control malfunction causing a large excursion from controlled operation and loss of control, each of which caused it to accelerate backward unexpectedly without command, spin violently, and crash into the cement sidewalk surface, which resulted in her being violently ejected from the Segway PT and thrown to the ground in the vicinity of the United States Botanic Garden located in Washington, D.C," the suit states.

According to the suit,  the crash wasn't Casciano's fault. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission had recalled the Segway PT in 2006 because it had "unexpectedly applied reverse torque to the wheels, which has caused riders to fall."

Casciano says no one at Bike and Roll warned her about the possible defect or told her how to react if it happened while she was on the Segway.

She says she suffered severe and permanent physical and psychological injuries, including bone fractures, scaring, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Casciano is suing for at least $5 million.

Bike and Roll managing partner Stephen Marks writes in an email to City Desk that he doesn't think the company has been served with a suit yet, but says that Bike and Roll "put the Segway that Ms Cacione was riding through a series of tests and it performed fine."

Read the suit below:

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • hmmm

    Interesting...I googled her name (she is from a town near where I grew up) and learned she's a Zumba instructor! if she was too injured to do that, I'm surprised she didn't include that claim in her suit. And if she can still teach Zumba, how physically bad off can she be?

  • Bob

    I think it's generally nutty to have tourists on Segways. For most, it's their first experience on a Segway, in a city that is probably unfamiliar and where they are looking up and around at sights rather than straight ahead. If they're going to have Segways, then keep them on the streets and bikelanes and off the sidewalks. A few months ago, some person erraticly driving a Segway nearly ran over my leg at the Navy Memorial.

  • Sebastian Townview

    Wouldn't it make more sense to sue the manufacturer - you know, the entity that's actually responsible for the defect? And $5 million seems a teeny bit excessive. But hey - I guess it beats actually working for a living.

  • shawguy

    I've ridden the segways from Bike and Roll when I had guests in from out of town. I figured they'd find it fun (and they did - I recommend doing it from them or one of the many other companies that run them on the mall).

    I don't think this suit is going anywhere, though, because you have to sign a waiver that makes War and Peace look like a Post Express article before you ever touch one of the things, essentially saying you understand you could become seriously injured, dismembered, or even get flat out killed on one of the things and you're okay with that. I'm pretty sure you even take on the liability if you manage to hurt or kill someone else. I feel bad that she crashed and got hurt, but segways are dangerous (the inventor of the segway was killed on one of them - google it) and you accept that when you get on one.

  • Sheesh!

    Like every other pursuit in life risks abound, and sometimes you get hurt. I am sure she signed a release telling her that she was about to risk certain death, and yet she agreed to go anyway. I'm sorry she got hurt, but I hope she doesn't get a dime.

  • Grim

    Not the inventor - the English Millionaire who bought the company died while riding one!

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