Computer says no

THE man who gashed his arm open on one of Beaufort Street’s near-invisible bladed bike racks has been denied compensation.

Vincent council’s insurer LGIS knocked back Russell Merriman’s claim saying the council wasn’t liable and the onus is on pedestrians to watch where they’re going.

But after reading the article in the Perth Voice where the council conceded the racks required removal, Mr Merriman says the insurer’s claims have been completely undermined by the council’s report.

In denying Mr Merriman’s claim LGIS said “the rack itself and its installation complies with all relevant Australian standards”.

But that’s not true according to the council report, which says it only meets those standards when placed in visible clusters or against a wall “where there is less foot traffic”.

The insurer also claimed there’d “been no other reports of incidents or accidents on this rack or any others that have been installed along Beaufort Street”.

However Mr Merriman points out the council’s report refers to “numerous complaints” about the racks. The Voice has heard locals refer to the racks as “the nutcrackers,” and cyclists on online forums have taken aim at the sharp-edged designs.

Mr Merriman first lodged a claim for $480.

“It’s not like I wanted the money, I just wanted to make it safe for society,” he says.

He eventually upped his claim to $10,000 after realising the extent of the scarring (and meeting with the insurer’s brusque investigator).

The claim was denied outright the first time around. When Mr Merriman read the Voice article he wrote to LGIS again, with the story attached, pointing out the inconsistencies in its argument.

LGIS still denied liability, but this time offered to “consider a refund of your out-of-pocket medical expenses”.

But Mr Merriman’s fed up with dealing with the company. For now he’s just happy the blade racks have been removed.

Vincent’s acting CEO Mike Rootsey referred our queries regarding the inconsistencies to LGIS, but no-one called us back.

by DAVID BELL

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