Brigid Ruden, a nurse and mother of three from Coralville, Iowa, recently received a $1.2 million settlement from the city of Coralville, the state of Iowa and a construction company. This was after being injured in a bicycle accident on a trail on the Oakdale campus of the University of Iowa.
Back in 2008, Ruden lost control of her bicycle on the North Ridge Trail after riding through a mud patch, causing her to slam her head on the pavement. Ruden slipped into a coma, underwent several surgeries during her extended hospital stay, and was left permanently disabled with a traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. Ruden has been unable to return to work because of the bicycle accident.
Ruden filed a lawsuit against Coralville, the state of Iowa, and Horsfield Construction. She alleged that they were negligent in their design of the bike trail, constructing and maintaining the trail, and for allowing water and mud to accumulate, posing a hazard for bikers.
District Judge Sean McPartland denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss Ruden’s claims in January, indicating that Ruden had made out a prima facie legal claim as to the defendant’s fault for Ruden’s personal injuries. Judge McPartland further held that ample evidence existed to show that the city had control over the contractor, Horsfield, during the construction of the trail.
The defendants agreed to settle the case last week for a combined total of $1.2 million, after protracted litigation. The state of Iowa is obligated to pay $200,000, while the city of Coralville and Horsfield Construction are responsible for the remaining $1 million.
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