Bike-death boy's family sues Ofo for over US$1.2m

The parents of a boy who died in a collision with a coach while riding on an Ofo bike have filed a separate suit calling for compensation from the bike-sharing company. 

The family of a local 11-year-old boy who died in a head-on crash with a coach while riding on an Ofo bike is suing the bike-sharing company for over 7.6 million yuan (US$1.2 million), the family’s lawyer said.

In a previous suit on March 6, Jing’an District People’s Court ruled the coach company’s insurance company pay the family more than 550,000 yuan.

The family’s lawyer, Zhang Qianlin, said it had withdrawn its claim against Ofo in the original suit, which had included Ofo, the coach driver and the coach company’s insurance company, and filed a new one against the bike-sharing company in February.

The family is also asking Ofo to replace the locks they currently use on their bikes with a more complex type which cannot be easily unlocked by children.

The boy, surnamed Gao, is said to have been racing on an Ofo bike with another three children on March 26 last year on Tiantong Road in Jing’an District when he collided with the coach. He was crushed in the collision and later died in hospital.

Traffic police concluded that he was primarily responsible because children under 12 are not allowed to ride a bike on street and he was riding into oncoming traffic.

Secondary responsibility fell on the coach driver who failed to take sufficient care when making a left turn.

According to the boy’s father, his son had no way to access an Ofo account and no one in the family had ever applied for an Ofo account.

His son had found a bike where he could open the lock.

Zhang alleged that negligence by Ofo in taking care of their bikes in public areas and the hidden danger they posed because their locks were contributory factors in the accident.

During the previous hearing, Ofo claimed the boy might have used “improper” ways to unlock the bike. Zhang said an exchange of evidence had been completed and he was awaiting for a date from the court.

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