The Atlanta Injury News Blog

Lawsuits Over City's Crumbling Sidewalks Cost Taxpayers Millions

City officials have vowed to spend millions of dollars to fix Atlanta's ragged, unrepaired sidewalks, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Atlanta residents have long voiced their concern about the sorry state of the city's sidewalks. The crumbling sidewalks have led to countless "slip and fall" lawsuits that have cost the city millions of dollars in legal fees and settlements.

The city has been putting off repairing the broken sidewalks for years. With over 600 miles of Atlanta's sidewalks in need of work, the backlog of repairs is expected to cost the city around $152 million.

"They're all over the city," Richard Mendoza, commissioner of Atlanta's Department of Public Works, said. "It's very critical."

Had the repairs been carried out in a timely fashion, however, the city could have saved millions of dollars in legal costs. In 2010 alone, the city spent $12,320,000 on lawsuits and claims stemming from the broken sidewalks, Fox News reports.

In May, the city paid Alex Jenkins $3 million to settle the personal injury suit Jenkins had filed against the city. Jenkins, a blind man, was injured when he tripped on a broken sidewalk.

Personal injury suits like Jenkins' are known as slip and fall cases. Generally, they involve a plaintiff who was injured after slipping and falling due to a dangerous condition on another person's property. In order to be successful, the plaintiff must show that the owner of the premises or any employee caused the dangerous condition, knew of the dangerous condition, or should have known about the dangerous condition.

This year, Atlanta will put $1 million toward fixing the city's crumbling sidewalks. That's ten times more than it spent last year, city officials say.

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