UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR

THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

 
 


AFFIDAVIT OF PLAINTIFF RYAN CHRISTENSON

 

  1. I am a citizen of Arkansas.
  2. I reside in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, living at 5878 Northgate Parkway, Apartment 5.
  3. Defendant Bicycle Messengers, Inc., is an Illinois corporation and has its principal place of business at 565 East Adams Street, Chicago, IL.
  4. Defendant Yamahonda is a Delaware Corporation with its principal place of business in Rock Hall, Maryland.
  5. I am a 23-year old male who has been physically active all his life, playing on the starting football, basketball and baseball teams in high school, and competing in intramural sports in college.
  6. I hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.
  7. I have worked as a bicycle messenger for defendant Bicycle Messengers, Inc. since 1 February 2006.
  8. On 15 February 2012, I purchased a “Penumbra Sport” motorcycle from defendant Yamahonda’s dealer on Shermer Road in Northrook, IL.
  9. On Saturday, 5 March, 2012, I decided to ride my motorcycle to a remote area of Lake County, Illinois for the afternoon. By the time I began my return trip, it had begun to rain.
  10. As I approached the overpass where Interstate 94 crosses under Illinois state route 173, my motorcycle began to skid sideways and I could not control it.
  11. The motorcycle, with me still on the seat, struggling to bring the vehicle back under control, left the pavement, and hit a part of the overpass structure, known as an “abutment.”
  12. When my motorcycle hit the bridge abutment, my left leg was severed above the knee.
  13. As a result of this accident resulting in the traumatic amputation of my leg, I required several surgical procedures on my residual limb and remained hospitalized until 25 March 2012.
  14. I have completed a rigorous program of rehabilitation, beginning during my hospitalization, during which I learned to use a state-of-the art prosthetic leg with what is known as as a “Rheo knee.”
  15. As part of my rehabilitation program, I participated in and continue to participate in a wide range of strenuous athletic activity, including swimming, hiking, bicycling, skiing, sailboarding and running.
  16. I incurred medical and rehabilitation expenses greater than $50,000.
  17. On 9 May 2012 I reported for work at Bicycle Messengers. At that time, and at all times since then, I was and am qualified to perform the essential functions of the job of bicycle messager.
  18. The dispatcher laughed at me and told me to get lost--that everyone knew that a one-legged guy could not be a bicycle messenger
  19. Even though I am proud of my athletic abilities and my continued ability to compete effectively and to remain very active, I suffer from occasional pain in my residual leg, and have to work hard to resist my fear of becoming less mobile, and embarassment when anyone reacts to my obvious disability.