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Competitive cycling app Strava not to blame for rider's death, judge rules

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Strava iOS stock 1020
Strava iOS stock 1020

Three years ago, William "Kim" Flint was killed while riding his bike near Berkeley, California. Just moments before suddenly braking to avoid a nearby car (which led to fatal injuries after his bike flipped), Flint was attempting to regain his downhill speed record on Strava — a competitive social fitness website for cyclists. Flint's family eventually sued Strava for negligence, claiming the company had done nothing to ensure the safety of riders as they sought to become "King of the Mountain," the title bestowed upon users that clocked the best time on each hill. As Wired explained last year, speeding among Strava's fiercest competitors is commonplace.

But on Monday, San Francisco Superior Court judge Marla J. Miller granted a summary judgement in Strava's favor. "Mr. Flint impliedly assumed the risks of bicycling," Miller said, adding that Strava had successfully demonstrated bicycling to be "an inherent risky activity." Flint's family at one point described him as "obsessed" with Strava, but despite any pressure he may have felt to once again top the leaderboards, the takeaway is that personal safety should have been his paramount concern.