Injured Mountain Biker Drops Lawsuit Against Race Group

Filed suit after breaking spine, claiming unsafe conditions

Jan 28, 2015
Outside Magazine

News of the lawsuit garnered criticism on social media from competitive mountain-bike racers.    Shane Wilson/Flickr

Lisa Belair, a Portland-area woman who filed a lawsuit against the organizers of a mountain bike race in which she was injured, has dropped her $273,000 complaint without money changing hands, the Oregonian reports. The reason is unclear.

After hitting a fallen tree and breaking her spine in four places during the Dog River Super D mountain biking race on the Hood River last May, Belair filed a suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court against Fat Tire Farm, a bike shop in northwest Portland, and Hurricane Racing, an outfitter and racing company in Government Camp, Oregon. The claimed argued that organizers had neglected to clear fallen trees from the race course following a heavy storm, instead covering a large tree on the course with dirt. Riding over the tree on her bike, Belair said she was launched into the air, crushing the C1 vertebra in her neck and fracturing her T3, T5, and T7 vertebrae upon landing.

“She’s able to walk,” Tim Williams, Belair’s attorney, told the Oregonian after filing the suit in December. “She’s able to ride her bike. But she has a fair amount of pain, constant, and it’s not going away.”

“No one likes to see accidents happening during events,” Fat Tire Farm owner Park Chambers said in an email to the Oregonian. “Mountain bikers, race organizers, and promoters work together diligently to avoid such situations. However, all of us who ride bikes competitively have fallen before, and we know crashes are part of the activity that we love and chose as participants.”

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