Cyclist files $300,000 claim against city of Seattle after streetcar track crash

A driver helped move Suzanne Greenberg's bicycle from traffic on May 24th, 2017

SEATTLE — Suzanne Greenberg is still gingerly nursing a damaged rotator cuff and aching arm. Her hands should be having conversations, but that’s unlikely to happen for months.

“I`m a sign language interpreter with one arm,” she said Wednesday at the office of her attorneys.

She filed a $300,000 legal claim against the city of Seattle for her injury in late May at the streetcar tracks at 14th Avenue and Yesler Way. Greenberg said she was coming down the Yesler hill in the bike lane and caught the track as she tried to go around a bus.

“It`s right there. There`s no room for a bicycle. So if you go around the bus, you will go into the track,” she said.

Q13 News reporter Jon Humbert and photographer Brandon Davis were at the intersection covering the story of another cyclist, Desiree McCloud, who crashed in a similar accident in 2016 and later passed away.

After Greenberg fell, Humbert and Davis helped tend to her and assisted getting her to urgent care.

Greenberg was on her way to her signing job that day of the accident. She hasn't been able to take on new work, and a vacation rental side business only helps so much.

“It's not enough to survive so hopefully I'm going to be able to get back to work,” she said.

McCloud’s family filed a legal claim against the city on May 24, both the anniversary of her accident, and hours before Greenberg crashed in the same intersection.

Now the same attorneys represent them both.

“It was predicted and expected,” said Phil Arnold.

He and his law partner Jeff Campiche said the Seattle Department of Transportation has done little to mitigate the risks and repair the complicated merge of bike, bus, and streetcar traffic in the area.

“No one would accept a death trap in the middle of the road that would flip automobiles. It shouldn't be tolerated for bicycles,” Arnold said.

SDOT was unable to comment about the pending claim, but said: “We can tell you that safety is at the forefront of everything we do here at SDOT. We monitor and evaluate the safety and effectiveness of all our transit systems.”