The family of a Californian man who died when allegedly trying to beat his own Strava record are suing the San Francisco firm for encouraging him to speed.
William ‘Kim’ Flint, a 41-year-old engineer from Oakland, CA, already held the ‘King of the Mountains’ segment on the descent of Berkeley’s Tilden Park when he collided with a car almost two years ago.
He was travelling at least 10mph above the road’s speed limit of 30mph when the accident happened after learning someone else had beaten his time, according to Californian news website ABC 7. The lawsuit, filed yesterday, accuses Strava of negligence and is a result of his family wanting “justice”.
“They [Strava] assume no responsibility. They don’t put cones out. They don’t have anybody monitor and see whether a course, or a specific segment, is dangerous,” said Susan Kang, the lawyer representing Flint’s family. “I strongly believe, and Mr. Flint’s family strongly believes, that it is only a matter of time before somebody else dies.”
A statement from Strava spokesman Mark Riedy called Flint’s death a “tragic accident” and said the company had expressed their condolences at the time of the accident. “Based on the facts involved in the accident and the law, there is no merit to this lawsuit,” he added.
Strava, created in 2009, allows cyclists to share training data from their GPS computers. King of the Mountain segments, which are significant stretches of road such as climbs or descents in a particular area, are one of its biggest attractions and creates competition among its users, with the fastest on each ‘segment’ topping a leaderboard.