Citizens of Essex County, Massachusetts should be able to walk on sidewalks without worrying about their safety. Where sidewalks are located on public property, it is the responsibility of the city to properly maintain them and ensure that they are safe for the public to walk on. Problems can develop on sidewalks for a variety of reasons including breakdown caused by salt used to melt ice in the winter, tree roots that grow under the sidewalk and cause it to become uneven and crack and plain and simple wear and tear.
A couple who was injured on a sidewalk filed a lawsuit against the city of Glendale, California. Their injuries occurred on June 13, 2010 when the 83-year-old man was walking with his 78-year-old wife. The man tripped and fell on a section of sidewalk that was raised. As he and his wife were walking arm in arm, she fell too and sustained bruising to her elbows and knees and tore her left rotator cuff. The man suffered back injuries and displaced one of his fingers.
Their medical expenses from the trip and fall accident totaled up to around $15,000. When the couple placed a claim for damages with the city, the city denied it, saying that they were not responsible because they were not aware of the problem in the sidewalk. The couple then retained a lawyer and filed the lawsuit. Their lawyer argued that the raised sidewalk had been there long enough for the city to know about it and fix the problem. The city council recently agreed on a $30,000 settlement with the couple.
Source: Glendale News-press, “City settles slip-and-fall case for $30K,” Brittany Levine, Jan. 25, 2014