The City of North Vancouver is being sued by a resident who blames his serious bicycle crash on the annual Slide the City waterslide event.
On July 22, 2018, Kevin McDermott attempted to cross Lonsdale on his bike but found the street blocked by the 1,000-foot waterslide, according to his civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court. He then asked an employee or contractor how he was supposed detour around the event and was told to “proceed down the hill on Lonsdale Avenue,” the claim states.
“While following these specific directions from the employee or contractor of the [city] and riding his bike down Lonsdale Avenue, the plaintiff struck a cable in the middle of the road that he did not see. The cable was black and it was on a black road. There was no signage or colour markers on the cable,” the claim states.
McDermott was taken to Lions Gate Hospital to be treated for a torn rotator cuff, dislocated and fractured left shoulder, which required surgery, as well as neck and head injuries.
The city was negligent in allowing the roadway to become a hazard, the suit alleges, and because he was directed by an employee or contractor to ride down Lonsdale.
McDermott is seeking damages for his pain and suffering, sleep disturbance, loss of earnings, and impairment of his capacity to enjoy life.
In its response filed in court, the city is denying any responsibly in the crash, saying the event was highly publicized and the streets were clearly marked as closed with barricades.
“The city denies the plaintiff was directed to bike down the road of Lonsdale Avenue, as alleged or at all,” according to the city’s response. “The plaintiff was riding his bicycle in a reckless and unsafe manner in the circumstances and was paying insufficient attention to his surroundings.”
The city suggests Happy Fun Events, the business that runs Slide the City, may bear some responsibility.
“Pursuant to the agreement, Happy Fun Events was fully responsible for all matters associated with the Slide the City event, including the setting up, marketing, operating and taking down the inflatable slide, ticket booths, public barriers, public washrooms, waste receptacles, first aid stations and other facilities and equipment reasonably associated with the Slide the City Event,” the response states.
The claims have not yet been tested in court.