$150,000 Payout: Joliet Settles July 4th Slip And Fall Lawsuit
JOLIET, IL — The city of Joliet has resolved a 2017 civil lawsuit with a $150,000 settlement to a Joliet woman who stumbled on a sidewalk and fell to the ground after watching Joliet’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show near Memorial Stadium.
Lorraine Fitzsimmons injured herself in the dark on July 4, 2016, while walking on a sidewalk owned and maintained by the city of Joliet near 3101 West Heritage Drive, where the sidewalk crosses over the driveway into the parking lot from the street, court records show.
“She was caused to fall to the ground, suffer bodily injury and mental anguish and suffering and … incur medical expenses for treatment of said injuries,” her lawsuit stated.
The Joliet woman filed her lawsuit with help from the Joliet personal injury law firm of Cassian & Carter, which is located at 3077 West Jefferson St.
Back in 2016, Fitzsimmons watched Joliet’s Fourth of July fireworks display and when the event ended, she began walking with a group of other people along Heritage Drive.
“When she attempted to cross over the sidewalk, she was caused to lose her balance and fall to the ground as a result of the uneven and broken condition of the sidewalk,” her lawyers stated.
It was the duty of Joliet and its employees “to maintain said sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition for people like (Fitzsimmons) who were lawfully on the sidewalk,” according to Cassian & Carter.
Their lawsuit accused Joliet of negligence and carelessness in its upkeep and maintenance of the city sidewalk. Heritage Drive is along Essington Road and near West Jefferson Street.
Attorney William Cassian had asked a Will County jury to issue a judgment in his client’s favor of at least $50,000 plus the costs of the lawsuit.
According to last month’s settlement at the Will County Courthouse, Joliet was not responsible paying any lawyers fees to the plaintiffs and the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing or liability by the city.
“This settlement is made to avoid the uncertainty and expense of litigation and for the purpose of judicial economy,” the city’s lawyers wrote.