New Jersey High Court Clears County in Bicyclist’s Death

January 23, 2012

New Jersey’s Supreme Court says Essex County cannot be held liable for the 2001 death of a bicyclist who suffered a massive head injury while riding on the shoulder of a county-owned road.

Mathi Kahn-Polzo and four friends were riding on Parsonage Hill Road in Millburn when she rode into a dip and fell off her bike. The 45-year-old West Orange resident, who was wearing a helmet, died 26 days later without regaining consciousness.

Her husband sued the county, claiming it knew about the about the 1 1/2-inch-deep, 2-foot-wide depression and failed to repair it. But a lower court rejected those claims, and the justices concurred.

The high court said last Wednesday that the county could not be considered liable according to the state’s tort laws, which restrict the liability of public entities.

Latest Comments

  • January 24, 2012 at 11:58 am
    wudchuck says:
    problem i have, if we want to make sure the roads are fixed every time and every day, then they should be for every pothole in the road. it is a tragedy that she lost her lif... read more
  • January 24, 2012 at 9:44 am
    Jim says:
    The premature loss of life is always tragic, not always compensable. As a cyclist, I know all to well the hazards we face everyday. While there is by no means enough detail in... read more
  • January 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm
    Brad says:
    As a cyclist, I've come across many road hazards. While a 1.5" depression doesn't sound like a big deal, if you hit the edge just right, it can throw you down. Would like to ... read more
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