The city of Northfield is being sued for more than $50,000 by a resident who alleges a defect in a stretch of city sidewalk caused her to trip and fall, and sustain multiple broken and dislocated bones.

The lawsuit was filed Aug. 21 by Lucille Ann Nelson in Rice County District Court.

Court documents state the incident happened as Nelson was walking north on Oct. 18, 2018, on the east side of Nevada Street between Sixth and Fifth Street East.

“Northfield was negligent with respect to its installation, maintenance, inspection, repair and supervision of its sidewalk where (Nelson) was injured,” the complaint states.

Court documents state Nelson fractured her right femur and suffered a fracture dislocation of her left elbow.

“(Nelson) also suffered a fracture of her left wrist when she fell on her outstretched hand as well as bruising to her chin, jaw, cheek and face,” the complaint states.

Nelson was taken to Northfield Hospital following the incident and later sent to Hennepin County Medical Center where her right femur was surgically repaired.

The complaint states she has incurred medical expenses, including a lengthy stay in a nursing home, “permanent and ongoing disability, inconvenience as well as humiliation and embarrassment as a result of her helplessness.”

In court documents responding to the lawsuit, the city denied negligence and said even if it had been, it would not have been the “direct and/or proximate cause of (Nelson’s) alleged damages.”

The city added any damages she sustained were caused by her failing to keep a proper lookout, not taking “proper care and caution for her own safety when the danger, if any, was open and obvious; and inattention and/or distraction.”

Prior to the incident, the city said, it had no notice of any conditions in the stretch of sidewalk that could have caused such injuries.

A summary judgment motion hearing in the case has not been scheduled. 

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115.

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