City of East St. Louis sued over 2-inch sidewalk discrepancy

Kelly Holleran Oct. 13, 2011, 4:00am


An Edwardsville man has filed suit against the city of East St. Louis, alleging he fractured a bone near his right eye and his cheek bone after tripping on an uneven sidewalk.

Harmon V. Cook claims he was walking east on a sidewalk in the 400 block of Missouri Avenue on Nov. 18 when he caught his toe in a lifted portion of the walkway and tripped.

"At the aforesaid time and place, a 9 by 6 foot slab of said sidewalk that was directly adjacent to 406 Missouri Avenue had settled so that said slab was approximately 2 inches lower than the adjacent easterly slab; that looking at the said sidewalk, both in the direction of the plaintiff's travel and in the opposite direction, the aforesaid discrepancy in the height of the slabs was not open or obvious, but instead, the said sidewalk appeared to be in appropriate condition for use to the walking public," the suit filed Sept. 16 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.

In addition to his fractures, Harmon sustained pain and suffering, experienced permanent disfigurement and incurred medical bills of about $10,000, according to the complaint.

Because of her husband's injuries, co-plaintiff Pamela Cook alleges she lost his support, guidance, companionship, comfort, services and consortium.

The Cooks blame the city of East St. Louis for causing his injuries, saying it negligently failed to inspect its sidewalks to keep them in good repair, failed to fix the sidewalk, failed to chisel or mold the area so there would not be a two-inch gap and failed to tear out and repair the sidewalk.

In their two-count complaint, the Cooks are seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

They will be represented by Ross T. Anderson of East St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-528.

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City of East St.Louis
301 River Park Dr.
East St. Louis, IL 62201

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