US rider gets $2.65M after pothole causes crash

Just as pothole season is beginning in Canada, here’s some food for thought from the state of New Jersey, where a motorcyclist has fought The Man, and landed a $2.65 million award, over a pothole-induced crash.

The New Jersey Herald reports a six-person jury awarded 67-year-old Roger Gates another $756,000 for medical expenses on top of the $2.65-million payday, in the aftermath of a crash back in April, 2016. Gates was riding his Victory motorcycle when he “failed to keep right while negotiating a curve and struck the front left of a 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager van,” the subsequent police report read.

Accordng to the Herald, the van’s driver thought Gates had been going too fast and lost control of his motorcycle, but that wasn’t proven. Gates himself said he’d lost control of his motorcycle while trying to ride around a badly potholed section of road—potholes that the transportation department had been told were a problem, and potholes that Gates’ wife said were quickly filled after the crash.

The jury must have believed the Gates’ story, as they only deliberated 4.5 hours before awarding the huge chunk of cash, says the Herald.

Since the crash, Gates has had to stop working, and he suffered very serious injuries, as you might expect from hitting a minivan. The money he’s awarded will come from Passaic County coffers. No word yet on whether the verdict will be appealed.


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