Woman thrown from motorcycle after hitting pothole seeks $195K from city

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A woman injured in a Westside motorcycle accident after she hit a pothole has filed a formal complaint against the city of Jacksonville seeking nearly $200,000.

Lori Lloyd said the accident happened the night of March 4 when she and her boyfriend were riding.

"We were driving down Wilson Boulevard about 30 mph and we hit this dip or pothole, and it ejected me straight up in the air off the motorcycle, and I rolled in the center lane," Lloyd said. "It broke my shoulder, two fingers, two ribs. I still have a large contusion on my left thigh."

The effects are even worse. Lloyd is self-employed, so all the hospital and rehab bills come out of her pocket, and she says she's lost work.

"I clean houses and I've had to scale back on the customers because there are certain jobs I can't perform anymore," Lloyd said. "I had another part-time job that I was doing that I can no longer do."

The city has since repaired the pothole. But now Lloyd has hired a lawyer and has filed a claim with the city asking for $195,000 to cover medical bills and lost work.

"Ms. Lloyd's case has a value close to $750,000," attorney Arthur Hernandez said. "Unfortunately, because of the laws that were written, the most she could ever recover -- even if the jury came back and gave her a huge verdict -- the most she could ever recover from the city is $200,000.

Hernandez said Lloyd's not alone in complaining about dangerous conditions on Jacksonville's roads. He said there are a number of potholes throughout the city that haven't been fixed.

"While I can sympathize with the city for their financial problems, it doesn't resolve them of their obligation to do the right thing," Hernandez said.

He said one pothole in Riverside has been there for nearly a year, and someone even posted a sign on it showing the disgust that the city is pouring money into EverBank Field improvements and not simple road projects.

Lloyd said she's not trying to take money from taxpayers, but "if the hole hadn't been there, I wouldn't be where I'm at right now."

The pothole has since been filled with asphalt.

A spokesman for the city said it doesn't comment on open cases, and this one is under investigation. He said in general, fixing the roads is a top priority, and when a complaint is made, officials jump right on it.

Lloyd and her attorney said they hope to settle out of court, but if they have to, they will pursue a lawsuit against the city. The city has until October to decide whether or not it'll settle or open itself up to a suit.

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