If a pedestrian is critically injured by a cyclist while walking in a park, who is at fault? The pedestrian? The cyclist? Or, perhaps, the city? That’s the question raised in a new $3 million dollar lawsuit the Post reports was just filed against the city. Actress Dana Jacks says her Prospect Park collision with cyclist David Sonenberg on June 11 left her “with brain trauma and face and skull fractures that kept her hospitalized for 25 days.” She’s already filed suit against the biker (and he against her) and now she’s turned to the city, blaming her situation on its “negligent, careless and reckless” traffic enforcement in the park.
And on one level, she does seem to have a point. This year, despite all the hoopla about the dangers ofthe Prospect Park West bike lane, there have been a number of nasty accidents inside the park—including at least two others where women suffered brain injuries after being struck. But her point only goes so far. Jacks (last seen in David Cromer’s production of Our Town) had her accident on West Drive, which is shared by cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, as she was crossing the bike path at the intersection of Center Drive and West Lake Drive.
In addition to Jacks’ suit against NYC (which City lawyers have declined to comment on) the actress is also involved in litigation with the cyclist who hit her. After spending three weeks in Kings County Hospital she sued Sonenberg in July and earlier this month he sued her back, saying that the accident was her fault, as she was walking “unlawfully outside the crosswalk.” Further he says her actions also knocked him to the ground, causing him serious injuries.