3.5 million dollar settlement for couple after a tragic cycling injury
April 20, 2009
Two and a half year after Jeffrey Totten sustained a traumatic brain injury while riding his bicycle with a group of other bicycle his multi-million dollar claim has been settled with King County of 3.5 million dollars. Jeffrey, 31, was an experienced distance rider who also frequently rode his bike from home in Seattle to work in Issaquah.
On September 4, 2006 while on a long ride with friends on a King County cycling map route, Jeffrey hit an unmarked permanent marker cover on Novelty Hill Road in Redmond. King County was responsible for maintaining that road, but had failed do so allowing the area around the marker cover to erode creating an irregular hole hazardous to cyclists. After hitting the hole Jeffrey lost control of his bicycle and thrown over the handle bars. He landed on the side of his head on the pavement and tumbled down the roadway.
This portion of Novelty Hill Road was featured as a prime route for bicyclist enthusiast to ride. It was part of the popular “Seven Hills of Kirkland,” ride.
Before the collision, Jeffrey shared an active lifestyle with his wife, Danielle Leavell. frequently participated in cycling marathons and triathlons. A veteran of the Navy, Jeffrey was working as a project manager in a prominent energy-consulting firm in Issaquah. A proponent of sustainable energy, Jeffrey was to begin a Master’s degree program at the Bainbridge Institute the day after his injury.
After the collision Jeffrey was in an extended coma at Harborview Hospital until he was moved to an full care facility that provided him with 24/7 assistance. The next two and a half years included intensive therapy, treatment and surgeries for his cognitive and physical injuries. He can no longer work or live independently.
This settlement will enable Jeffrey receive the care and therapies he will require for the rest of his life.