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Scottsdale facing lawsuit over 'Dead Man's Curve'

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

The city of Scottsdale is facing a major lawsuit after a leisurely bike ride along a bike path called Dead Man's Curve ended with a trip to the emergency room.

Doe Jacobs lives near the spot and said he sees cyclists wiping out all the time.

"There was a ridge in the sideway there and especially bikes with skinny tires, they would just catch on that ridge and they'd just wipe out," Jacobs said.

Allan Fenyves was a competitive cyclist until his wreck on the curve in 2009. He brought the lawsuit against the city of Scottsdale.

"I did everything right. I slowed down. There is a seed sign there. An 'S' curve warning. I slowed down to about 10 mph," Fenyves said.

The section of the bike path was built in 1979. Big chunks are missing from the surface, there's water built up from poor drainage and there are half-inch seams in the concrete.

An independent report prepared by a forensic engineering firm in 2010 identified more than 20 reasons why the bike path wasn't safe for cyclists.

Over the years, people were calling in and emailing Scottsdale officials about the curve.

The city's transportation planner, Reed Kempton, crashed his own bike along the stretch back in 2002.

According to Kempton's deposition, funds were going to be used to repair the path in 2004 and 2005, but the money was reallocated to convert a golf course into a park.

"I wound up breaking my collarbone, my hip and nine ribs and puncturing a lung," Fenyves said.

Eight years later, the work is finally done. It took six weeks and the cost was a little more than $100,000. It was finished just before Christmas.

Fenyves has not been on a bike since his crash and is still recovering from his injuries.

Fenyves is represented by Phoenix attorney Rob Lewis.

"The city refuses to take responsibility for the damages it caused. I am confident that the injuries in these cases will make the city take responsibility," Lewis said.

Lewis also has another client who crashed in the same spot as Fenyves.

Fenyves trial is set to begin on March 18, 2013.

Scottsdale city officials declined to comment on the case.

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