A California woman who was hit by a Conch Tour Train while bicycling in Old Town last year is suing, claiming she faces substantial medical costs due to the injuries she suffered in the accident, according to a civil lawsuit filed last week.
The accident occurred in September as Hilary Cline was bicycling on Whitehead Street in front of the Old Town post office between Fleming and Eaton streets, said her attorney, William Wolk of Miami.
The lawsuit states Cline was riding in the center of the northbound lane just north of Fleming Street when she was struck by the fourth trailer on the train, which threw her from her bicycle causing a "complete superior labral tear in her left shoulder, which will require extensive reconstructive surgery."
A superior labral tear is an injury to cartilage that covers the upper area of the shoulder socket.
The lawsuit alleges that the Conch Tour Train driver was negligent and failed to take due care in avoiding Cline.
"The train just got too close and didn't give her enough room," Wolk said. "Unfortunately we see a lot of this in Miami, and I know everyone in Key West bikes. It's a situation where motorists get impatient and the bicyclists take up the road."
Cline is not alleging that the Conch Tour Train hit her intentionally, Wolk said.
"There is no allegation here other than the driver made a mistake," Wolk said. "We're not alleging malice. We do, however, need to get her medical bills covered. Like so many people, she does not have medical insurance and the bills are mounting."
The Conch Tour Train is owned and operated by the Historic Tours of America. Company officials told The Citizen they do not comment on pending litigation.
Chief circuit Judge David Audlin is scheduled to preside over the case. No trial date had been scheduled as of Friday.