NYPD officer sues over Segway accident

Sept. 7, 2008 at 10:10 AM

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- As many cities consider putting police on Segway PT scooters, a New York police officer has filed suit, saying the gizmo ended his career.

Police Officer Gary Schneider, 42, assigned to train other officers how to ride the self-balancing personal transporters, fell off a scooter during a training session when one of its two wheels seized, his lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court alleges.

The tarmac fall broke his left leg so severely that doctors pieced his bones back together with a rod and six screws, the lawsuit against the city says.

"It just locked up on me. I was in surgery for five hours," Schneider told the New York Post. "I definitely don't consider it safe."

The products-liability lawsuit seeks to force the police department to hand over records about the purchase, repair and maintenance of the gadgets, made by Segway Inc. of Bedford, N.H.

"If they continue to give New York's finest Segways, then they should get hazard pay," Schneider attorney Sam Davis told the newspaper. "They're going to see a lot of cops get injured."

Neither the police department nor Segway had an immediate response to the lawsuit.

New York started using the scooter in July 2003, but halted the program after faulty batteries caused the personal transporters to stop suddenly, tossing several officers to the ground, the Post said.

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