FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The family of a woman who was severely injured in a crash involving an electric scooter in Fort Lauderdale plans to file a lawsuit against the company that operates them, saying Lime misled riders about how to safely use them.
Ashanti Jordan, a security guard at Broward Health Medical Center, was riding a Lime scooter on Dec. 28 when she collided with a car near Southwest Third Avenue and Southwest Fifth Street.
"She suffered a fractured skull, severe head trauma and appears to be in a vegetative state," said Todd Falzone, a lawyer for the family.
Her family said the once vibrant 27-year-old may not survive. Her mother, Tracy Jordan, is holding on to hope. She said it feels like a bad dream.
"It's heartbreaking to see her in this condition," Tracey Jordan said.
The family's attorney says Lime is at fault after misleading Ashanti Jordan and other riders in its instructions not to use sidewalks.
"Lime is telling these people to break the law. As a result, these poor people are riding in traffic," Falzone said.
Under city rules, riders must use sidewalks and it is illegal to use them on roads, but riders are often seen traveling alongside cars on streets.
"The safety of our riders and the community is our highest priority, and we're committed to making our streets safer by working with local governments to support safe infrastructure for scooters and bikes," Lime said in a statement. "Our thoughts remain with Ms. Jordan and her family."
Fort Lauderdale started allowing electric scooters in November. The program is intended to relieve congestion on the city streets, enabling people to use the scooters to take short trips instead of using a car.
However, several scooter riders have been involved in traffic accidents, including 35 in December. A 14-year-old boy riding a scooter was seriously hurt in a hit-and-run crash in December and a woman was injured riding a scooter in the Kinney Tunnel in January.
Lime and three other companies operate the scooters, which are left on sidewalks after users have finished their rides. The scooters often can pile up in high traffic areas, blocking private property, fire hydrants and handicap ramps.
The Fort Lauderdale City Commission recently discussed the complaints about scooters and placed additional restrictions on the services, including banning them from the beach during spring break.
Mayor Dean Trantalis has warned the city may end the program if the problems continue.