District liable for bicyclist's spinal injuries

Posted on May 11, 2010
The Hartford Metropolitan District Commission in the state of Connecticut was found responsible for injuries suffered by former children's book illustrator. A Superior Court jury awarded Maribeth Blonski, 43, $2.9 million for her injuries.

Blonski was biking on a trail in the West Hartford Reservoir area in 2002 when she hit an improperly placed steel gate across the path, causing her to break four vertebrae in her neck.

The Metropolitan District Commission had placed the gate to block motor vehicle access to the reservoir.

At the time of the accident, Blonski was the host of a local-access television show about mountain biking and worked as an illustrator. She now works the front desk of a health club.

The case took eight years to resolve because there was a dispute about whether or not the Metropolitan District Commission was immune from responsibility.

Blonski had tried earlier to settle the case out of court for less than the jury awarded, but the Metropolitan District Commission had refused.