Motorcylist Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Road Problems, Potholes

The family of a teenager who died in a motorcycle accident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Staten Island, alleging that poor road conditions contributed to the crash, causing another vehicle to swerve to avoid potholes. 

Kadem Michell, 19, died on April 5, after his motorcycle collided with another vehicle that allegedly changed lanes to avoid road problems on School Road in Staten Island, New York. The other driver allegedly swerved into Mitchell’s lane and struck the motorcyclist, resulting in his death.

Mitchell was thrown from the motorcycle and into oncoming traffic, where he was struck by an SUV, suffering injuries that resulted in his death on April 11.

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The lawsuit names the city, the driver of the car that changed lanes, and the driver of the SUV as defendants. According to the complaint, the motorcyclist’s death occurred because the city failed to properly maintain the street and because the other drivers were negligent.

Local media confirmed the street had numerous potholes, some of which were filled after the accident and some of which were not. However, according to a local report by the Staten Island Advance, police provide a different story behind the crash, suggesting that Mitchell tried to pass Leyton on the left after she changed lanes and ran into her car.

Police indicate that Mitchell was wearing a helmet, but that he did not have a motorcycle operator’s license. The bike, a 2014 Suzuki, was purchased just two weeks before by his grandfather.

The family claims he had a learner’s permit, which the police have not yet confirmed. Learner’s permits in New York require a supervising driver be within sight at all times. It is unclear if a licensed driver was nearby.


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