Five people in New York allege they were injured while riding on shoddy scooters from embattled moped-sharing service Revel, according to a series of new lawsuits.
In the latest from five new suits brought against the company in just the past week, Phelan Fitzpatrick claims he got into an accident on June 24 this year when he was riding on 11th Avenue in Manhattan and the scooter malfunctioned.
Fitzpatrick’s lawyer Joseph Belluck told The Post his client, “went to apply the brakes and the brakes locked up and he flew up over the handle bars.”
Belluck said his client suffered bruising, bleeding and permanent scarring.
Belluck said in addition to any issues with the Revel mopeds, he’s also concerned that people can ride the low-powered scooters without training, unlike riding a motorcycle which requires a licensing test.
“You have individuals who are not properly trained in the operation of the vehicle and because of the improper training, you have riders who are not able to prevent accidents from happening when they encounter different situations on the road,” Belluck said.
Fitzpatrick is seeking unspecified damages.
Four more cases, filed in Manhattan and Brooklyn Supreme Courts by a different law firm over the past week, also claim people were injured while riding the company’s mopeds in the city in June and July.
Three of the suits say the bikes “failed to work properly,” and the fourth is a passenger who blames both the driver and the company for negligence.
Revel has expanded across the city and boomed in popularity since it began here in 2018 — but the company didn’t keep up maintenance and rider training to match the rapid growth, the lawsuits allege.
The service became particularly popular after the start of the coronavirus crisis in March, when it expanded into Manhattan.
Lawyer Daniel Flanzig, whose firm filed four of the new suits, told The Post that the incidents — prompting the batch of new cases — seem to correspond with that growth.
“They had an increase in the number of bikes being leased but they didn’t increase access to training at the same time,” Flanzig said.
“There seems to be a continuing theme of people finding mechanical issues,” Flanzig said. “There appears to be an issue with a lack of maintenance and lack of training.”
Flanzig’s firm has filed at least three other suits against the company over the past year.
In January, one of Flanzig’s clients, Paul Dicesare, claimed he broke his ankle after a collision with a Revel rider while he was riding his bicycle. Dicesare sued the company for negligence.
Two Revel riders, including CBS reporter Nina Kapur, died after losing control of their mopeds. The fatalities prompted the company to close service in the city in July.
It returned in late August, adding a required 20-minute safety test and mandatory helmet selfies.
A former Revel employee criticized the company’s “cheap” scooters to The Post, claiming damaged bikes often didn’t get reported by users, so would stay out on the street unfixed.
A rep for Revel responded at the time that the company has “strict safety policies in place,” and that “The moment we are notified that a Revel is not fully functional, we immediately make it unavailable to rent and take it out of service.”
A spokesperson for Revel said Monday the company doesn’t comment on pending cases but, “At Revel, we take every precaution to ensure the safety of our riders.”
“Revel employs industry-leading safety protocols, including providing two helmets with each vehicle, in-app safety training, and a helmet selfie feature,” the rep said.
“In addition, our experienced mechanics conduct regular maintenance checks on every vehicle, while our Field Team is constantly offering support and safety checks in every borough.”