Who’s Responsible If You’re Injured By A Cracked Sidewalk?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman is still recovering from serious injuries months after she fell on a sidewalk.

Shelly Levine wore a neck brace and now uses a walker to get around.

She tripped on a raised piece of sidewalk along a busy south Minneapolis street.

“We were going to our accountant to get our taxes done,” said Al Levine, Shelly’s husband.

A winter trip to Eat Street in Minneapolis did not go as planned for these native New Yorkers.

They crossed Nicollet Avenue between 25th and 26th streets to grab breakfast at the Dunn Brothers before their appointment.

“I see this thing go flying by me,” Al said.

In her snow boots, Shelly tripped on this sidewalk. The cement seems to be raised and cracked from the tree growing through it.

Shelly’s right side soon started to swell, so they went to Methodist Hospital just to be safe. It is where she stayed for two days.

shelly levine and the sidewalk she tripped on Whos Responsible If Youre Injured By A Cracked Sidewalk?

Shelly Levine and the sidewalk she tripped on (credit: CBS)

“I had a fracture underneath my eye. I had a fracture in my neck, which as far as I know still hasn’t healed,” Shelly said. “And I was wearing a collar for three months.”

She also had a stress fracture in her thigh that snapped months later. She now has as steel rod in her leg.

The Levines thought they had a good case for a personal injury attorney, but at least eight have told them there’s not much they can do since it happened on public property.

“If it was private property they all would have taken it,” Al said.

WCCO went back to the same spot more than five months after Shelly’s fall, where we found the damaged sidewalk is still in the same shape.

But when WCCO asked the city about the sidewalk’s condition, a spokesperson said it is private owners who are responsible for the repair and upkeep of adjacent public sidewalks, and that “the city monitors the condition of sidewalks and issues orders for replacement or repair based on a routine inspection program … and property owners may proactively repair or replace their sidewalks on their own …”

“I can understand places being cracked, but that’s a transit spot and it should have been fixed,” Al said.

Shelly is now using a walker until she heals from her latest surgery, being extra cautious of every step.

“I would like it for them to fix the sidewalk so nobody else has to go through what I went through,” Shelly said.

WCCO found Principal Real Estate Advisors owns the property. Its CEO told WCCO the company was not aware of the problem before and would check it out.

Levine has health insurance, but has still spent a few thousand dollars on her injuries.

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