UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
AFFIDAVIT OF PLAINTIFF RYAN CHRISTENSON
- I am a citizen of Arkansas.
- I reside in Buffalo Grove, Illinois,
living at 5878 Northgate Parkway, Apartment 5.
- Defendant Bicycle Messengers, Inc., is an Illinois
corporation and has its principal place of business at 565
East Adams Street, Chicago, IL.
- Defendant Yamahonda is a Delaware Corporation
with its principal place of business in Rock Hall,
- 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.
- I hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University
- I have worked as a bicycle messenger for defendant Bicycle Messengers, Inc.
since 1 February 2006.
- On 15 February 2012, I purchased a
“Penumbra Sport” motorcycle from defendant Yamahonda’s
dealer on Shermer Road
in Northrook, IL.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.”
- When my motorcycle hit the bridge abutment, my left leg was severed above
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- I incurred medical and rehabilitation expenses greater than $50,000.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.