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Strava sued for negligence in cyclist’s death

Published June 19, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (BRAIN)—The family of a San Francisco cyclist killed two years ago when he crashed into a car while speeding on his bike has sued Strava for encouraging dangerous behavior to win challenges on the popular social networking website.

In a seven-page negligence lawsuit filed Monday in San Francisco’s Superior Court, the parents of Kim Flint Jr., 41, claim their son crashed while he was attempting to defend his “King of the Mountain” title in Orinda, California’s Tilden Park on June 19, 2010.

According to the documents, Flint held the King of the Mountain title for a hill in Tilden Park, and when he discovered another rider had beaten his time, went out to defend his title. King or Queen of the Mountain is the term Strava uses to identify the fastest rider on a particular segment, as clocked by GPS. Flint apparently collided with an automobile as he was attempting to regain the lead, and was killed.

The lawsuit claims Strava was negligent because it failed to warn cyclists competing in the KOM challenge that the road conditions were not suited for racing and that it was unreasonably dangerous; didn't take adequate measures to ensure the KOM challenges took place on safe courses; and encouraged dangerous behavior.

“It was foreseeable that the failure to warn of dangerous conditions, take safety measures, and encourage dangerous behavior would cause Kim Flint Jr. to die since Kim Flint Jr. relied on [Strava] to host a safe challenge,” the suit states. “Had [Strava] done the aforementioned acts, Kim Flint Jr. would not have died as he did.”

Mark Riedy, Strava spokesperson, issued a statement challenging the validity of the case.

“The death of Kim Flint was a tragic accident, and we expressed our sincere condolences when it occurred in 2010. Based on the facts involved in the accident and the law, there is no merit to this lawsuit,” the statement read.

The family is asking for damages in excess of $25,000 to cover wage loss, loss of use of property, hospital and medical expenses and other damages suffered by the family.

A case management conference is scheduled for Nov. 21 in San Francisco. To read the suit as filed in court, click on the link above.

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