, Massachusetts.) Then you get your boarding pass at a germ-infested self-service kiosk, aka . (And don’t get me started on bathrooms.) Once you arrive at your destination, you eat some . Still on your feet?
Yet it could be worse. Let me warn you about two additional transportation hazards that could ruin your holiday, indeed your life.
1. Electric scooters. If you’re in a city where these hazardous modes of transportation are allowed, good luck. As one California doctor , “Since scooters launched in Santa Monica, I’ve seen a large number of people who’ve lost their teeth, who come in with broken bones, head injuries, skull and facial fractures. … And I’ve seen a lot of tears, because it’s a really big deal to need surgery or new teeth.” They’re also seeing traumatic brain injuries and death.
Companies like Bird and Lime, which make boatloads of money off these 15 mile-an-hour-city-sidewalk-death-traps, are trying to escape legal accountability by forcing users to “accept lengthy terms of service agreements that exempt scooter companies from legal liability if riders are hurt using them.” But what if you’re a pedestrian who gets hit, and who never agreed to anything?
That’s one theory behind a new filed in California against these companies for “’dumping’ scooters on public streets without an appropriate warning.” It includes three plaintiffs who “were walking when e-scooter riders crashed into them from behind, resulting in severe injuries. The suit alleges that e-scooter companies knew their riders were injuring pedestrians and –– by failing to stop the collisions from occurring –– assisted and encouraged scooter riders as they committed ‘assaults.’”
2. Stretch Limos.This week, the first lawsuit was by the estate of one of the 20 people killed in that terrible limo crash in upstate New York last month, considered “the nation's deadliest transportation-related incident in nearly a decade.” It was filed on behalf of the estate of 29-year-old Amanda Rivenburg:
The family is claiming negligence, gross negligence and wrongful death. It names the Gansvoort-based limo service, Prestige Limousine & Chauffeur Service, owner Shahed Hussain and operator Nauman Hussain. …
The Rivenburg family attorney said on Monday that he expects the state to be named in future lawsuits related to the Route 30-30A intersection where the crash happened and because of the state's oversight of the limo company.
This might be a good time to mention that New York's wrongful death law is one of the most archaic in the nation. It will be interesting to see if this law is raised as a defense against substantial damages in some of the cases that might be filed.
Specifically, unless a family member is financially dependent on the person who has been killed, compensation is essentially unavailable to them. That includes, for example, the anguish and heartache a parent would experience over the loss of their child. (This explains in more detail.)
The other issue, of course, is the out-and-out perils of stretch limos. As the New York Times shortly after the upstate New York crash,
[M]any stretch limousines might be considered a kind of automotive zombie: They are former cars or sport utility vehicles that have been transformed after they leave the factory, and exist in a regulatory limbo. They usually do not have to meet arduous federal safety requirements, and they face a haphazard inspection system that varies from state to state.
“Without sufficient safety standards in place, it is nothing but a fine line between a stretch limousine and a hearse,” Thomas Spota, the former Suffolk County district attorney, said in 2016.
Stay safe, America.