Cortez Smith is suing the property owner at 1423 State St. in Alton for allowing down spouts and guttering to be diverted onto the public sidewalk.

Seeking damages in excess of $50,000, Smith filed suit June 6 against Mark Scholtz in Madison County Circuit Court, claiming he tripped on a washed out sidewalk directly in front of Scholtz's residence on Oct. 3, 2004.

Smith claims he stumbled and fell "with great force and violence," and fractured his left wrist.

"It was the duty of defendant to exercise due care and caution for the safety of plaintiff and others walking upon said public sidewalk and to keep the sidewalk free from objects or obstructions likely to cause plaintiff and others to trip and fall and in particular the artificial diversion of gutter and down spout water onto said public sidewalk," the complaint states.

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