ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Bay Area man suing Lyft, owner of Ford GoBikes, after injury when he says brakes failed

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- An East Bay man is suing Lyft, which owns Ford GoBike after he says he fell from one of its electric bicycles when the brakes failed. He ended up with a broken arm. His attorney says his client isn't the only one who's had problems with the electric bikes.

On Sunday, March 24, outside the North Berkeley BART station Joseph Conley rented a Ford GoBike.

Conley rode four blocks to the intersection at Delaware and Chesnut when he approached the stop sign.

"I just put the brakes on normally and the brakes failed. They locked up and I went right over the handlebar."

Right over and onto the street. He broke his arm in three places and now he's suing the company.

Conley's attorney Andrew Shalaby said, "They seem to have a problem with the front brake hub, which is an unusual design, not a typical braking system."

The problem, according to Shalaby, " It appears to lock up from time to time and cause the bike to flip over and cause injuries."

Ford GoBike operates the electric bicycle share system, which also includes pedal bikes. The company, which is owned by Lyft, says on its website it has 7,000 electric bike plus models in the Bay Area.

Shalaby says the company has in fact received complaints about the braking system from other riders.

"They acknowledged it but at the same time they said they don't know of any known injuries which is obviously not the case."

Meantime, Conley had to take a month off as a barista here at the Cafe Chieve in Berkeley.

"The pain has been the worse and just not being able to use my arm barely at all."

Conley is back to work now on a modified schedule and making coffee like the other baristas here. But he says it's painful and difficult.

Ford GoBike said in a statement, it was removing the electric bikes that caused the problem out of an abundance of caution and that reliability and safety come first.
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