2017-11-12 / News

Lapeer hit with sidewalk injury suit

810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — The City of Lapeer has been hit with a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Tuscola County 16-yearold who claims to have sustained numerous injuries after an uneven sidewalk caused her to trip and fall.

Connie R. Martin, of Fostoria, filed the suit Oct. 12 in Lapeer County Circuit Court.

She seeks an undisclosed amount in damages.

An answer has not been filed yet.

Gregory Meihn, a Ferndalebased attorney with Foley & Mansfield, said he was assigned the case last Monday on behalf of the city’s insurance carrier.

City officials deferred questions on the matter to Meihn.

“I’m just getting the facts and information that has been provided at this time,” Meihn told The County Press, adding he plans to seek out “a lot more information” about the situation.

“We’re right into the beginning of that process,” he said, noting he plans to find out a lot more in the next 30 to 60 days.

According to the complaint, Martin’s 16-year-old daughter was walking in front of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 814 W. Nepessing St., on March 18 when she “did trip and fall as a direct and proximate result of a depressed, cracked, broken, and unlevel section of concrete which was hidden and/or obscured by leaves and/or other debris.”

The complaint was filed on behalf of Martin by Southfieldbased attorney Todd J. Stearn.

It claims the city was responsible to maintain the sidewalk and “knew or should have known of a dangerous condition” created by the concrete.

Further, the suit claims, the city failed to maintain the public sidewalk/premises “in a safe and reasonable way,” take reasonable steps for the prevention of injuries, warn plaintiff of all reasonable foreseeable dangers, and inspect and maintain sidewalk in a “reasonably safe condition.”

The complaint also claims the city failed to hire or employ personnel or staff “that would properly maintain the sidewalk and not allow a dangerous and hazardous condition to remain on the sidewalk.”

Martin’s daughter is alleged to have sustained a displaced fractured right clavicle that required an open reduction with internal fixation, ongoing injuries to the right clavicle, a joint disorder, ongoing teeth pain and headaches, along with other injuries.

The suit claims the injury has caused the 16-year-old to have suffered lost wages, lost potential for employment promotions and advancements, and pain and suffering, among other things.

Meihn said he believes the issue with the sidewalk itself has been “resolved.”

“I don’t know if ‘fix’ is the right word because I still don’t know if there was anything wrong with the property or where this incident occurred,” he said.

“I’m looking into that.”

Martin seeks more than $25,000 in the case.

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