A man who was paralyzed in a bicycle crash on the Montlake Bridge is suing the state.
Michael Gendler hopes to force the Transportation Department and State Patrol to turn over records about similar accidents for a lawsuit seeking money for his injury.
The agencies refuse to give up records if the information would be used to sue for damages. An assistant attorney general, Rene Tomisser, told The Olympian that releasing information for a civil suit jeopardizes federal highway-safety funds.
In the suit filed in Thurston County, Gendler’s lawyers argue the records are public.
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The lawyers hope to prove a defect in the bridge deck caused Gendler’s 2007 crash.