Revel suspended 2,000 of its members in the past six weeks as the electric scooter ride share company moved to enforce its safety guidelines in the face of a dozen injury lawsuits filed in recent months.
The cases piling up against Revel also come after the death of CBS reporter Nina Kapur, 26, who died while riding one of its scooters without a helmet in Brooklyn on July 18.
Two more people were hurt this weekend when a Revel scooter crashed into a pole in Manhattan’s Inwood section over the weekend.
A 30-year-old man driving the scooter was in critical condition and a passenger suffered a broken ankle when the scooter crashed on Wadsworth Terrace around 4.30am Saturday. Neither of them were wearing a helmet, WABC reported.
The driver was taken to New York Presbyterian Columbia Hospital, police said. He and the passenger were not identified.
The accident came only eight days after Kapur died in what is believed to be the first fatal accident involving a Revel.
The reporter, originally from Newton, Pennsylvania, was being driven by a 26-year-old man in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who said he swerved to avoid a car pulling out of a parking spot, according to unnamed police sources.
Both Kapur and the driver were thrown onto the roadway, and it’s believed neither were wearing helmets. They were taken to Bellevue Hospital where Kapur was pronounced dead.
The driver, whose relationship to Kapur was not immediately known, suffered only minor injuries, according to police sources.
Before Kapur’s death, more than a dozen riders say they were injured while riding the moped, including a 38-year-old man who suffered a serious head injury and was left in critical condition.
Revel – a Brooklyn-based startup – which got off the ground two years ago recently expanded into Manhattan. Riders get access to the ride-share scooters for a one-time fee of $5 and are charged 35 cents per minute of driving time, Gothamist reported.
Passengers cost an additional $1. Revel provides an instructional video for all members upon signing up, as well as an in-person course, which is optional.
However, a lawyer representing several riders who ended up hurt after using Revel and are now suing the company, said peoplecould be better prepared before mounting the scooters.
‘With better training, with making sure [there’s] better enforcement of helmet wearing, they can be, if done properly, a good thing for New York,’ attorney Daniel Flanzig told Gothamist.
‘And the other issue too is New York’s infrastructure is so lousy,’ he said, citing that first-time riders have to navigate potholes, construction-clogged streets, pedestrians, cabs, ride share services and large vehicles, including buses.
Revel requires its riders to have a drivers license, obey traffic laws and wear a helmet.
A spokesperson told Gothamist that the company suspended 2,000 accounts in the past month and a half and is rolling out an in-app safety test this week that requires a user to confirm they’ve put on a helmet.
An announcement on the safety feature is expected this week.
At least twelve lawsuits have been filed against the company. One of the cases filed by John Ruiz, claims he crashed while riding a Revel scooter in Brooklyn in September and broke a leg while breaking to avoid a jaywalker.
‘My take on it was, if it was available on the app, it should have been properly functioning, which it wasn’t. It was beat up,’ Ruiz said, NY1 reported.
The case alleges that the scooter’s tires ‘were balancing and needed replacement and the brakes were not properly working.’
Fanzig said he has four additional complaints of people suing Revel.
One of the cases filed in January was from a woman who said she was hurt while training to ride a Revel.
Revel has denied the woman’s claims in court documents, and has asked her to seek relief in arbitration.