Sidewalk accident leads to settlement between victim, city

While the following story didn't occur here in Oklahoma, it does exemplify many of the dangers that people face everyday, no matter which state they live in.

A woman was walking down a sidewalk in 2015, and she tripped and fell on some uneven slabs of concrete. The fall caused her to dislocate her shoulder, and she would later need surgery to fix the issue. She sued the city for the incident because the height differential between the two different slabs of the sidewalk where she slipped was two inches. The city approved a $48,000 settlement for the woman.

What makes this story so interesting is that the city had an inspector look at the very slabs of sidewalk that caused this trip and fall months before the woman suffered. At that time, the inspector said that the height differential between the slabs was less than an inch. Furthermore, this particular part of the sidewalk was one of 3,000 other noteworthy parts of sidewalk that the city recognized needed repairs.

These facts raise all sorts of questions. Did the inspector screw up the inspection, or did he manipulate the numbers so that the city wouldn't have to do anything? And regardless of the inspection, why did the city knowingly sit on the knowledge that 3,000 places on their sidewalks were in need of repair?

It makes you wonder how many cracks, dips, broken sidewalks, and unsafe conditions are all around us at any given time -- and how many are known about but nothing gets done.

Source: SMDP, "Woman wins slip-and-fall lawsuit against City," Kate Cagle, May 15, 2017

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