Cyclist suffer Brain Injuries during World Trials crash in Malibu
Personal Injury
Negligence of U.S. Cycling Federation
Los Angeles Superior Court

Barbara Buchan, age 25, was a participant in a series of races in Southern California comprising the World Trials, from which the U.S. women’s team for the World Championships of cycling would be chosen. During a road race through the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, an inexperienced 20 year old novice racer caused a chain reaction spill in which 65 competitors fell.  Barbara, wearing a leather “helmet” of the type then permitted by the USCF (the governing body for cycling in the U.S.) rules, struck her head in the fall and suffered a significant traumatic brain injury, which required lengthy and extensive rehabilitation and left her with residual memory loss, cognitive deficits, and a seizure disorder.

We alleged in this case that the USCF was negligent in failing to adopt and enforce a meaningful helmet safety rule, and was also negligent for allowing a novice racer to participate in this race, when she had caused a crash in an earlier race of the same series, after which many of the top riders had demanded that she be excluded as unqualified to compete at this level of competition.  We also alleged that inexperienced, unqualified riders would never be permitted to participate in USCF national level races for men.