Sales of e-bikes in the U.S. have increased sharply in recent years, to an estimated 804,000 in 2021 from 152,000 in 2016, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, an industry trade group. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Injury Prevention in 2020 found that e-bike riders were more likely to require hospitalization after accidents than those using manual bikes. “E-bikes are clearly associated with more serious injury,” said Dr. Charles DiMaggio, a professor of surgery at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and an author of the study.
The Steinsapir family’s lawsuit also names Giro Sport Design, the manufacturer of the helmet that Molly was wearing. Vista Outdoor, the parent company of Giro, declined to comment.
Even as Ms. Steinsapir shared stories and photographs of her daughter on social media since her death, she did not reveal details of the accident. The lawsuit provides a more complete account.
Molly and an 11-year-old friend climbed aboard a RadRunner e-bike that belonged to the friend’s 13-year-old sister, the lawsuit says. The friend was operating the bike as Molly rode atop a flat rack over its back wheel, a feature that “invites a passenger to sit in tandem,” according to the complaint.