Wednesday, August 17, 2011

 

$1 million settlement is a result of poor sidewalk maintenance, what about fixing other broken sidewalks?


by Larry Geller

Civil Beat reported today on the settlement of a lawsuit for about $1 million resulting from a broken sidewalk tile in Waikiki:

Three years after a Honolulu jury awarded a California woman more than $3.6 million in damages for injuries she sustained when she fell on a Waikiki sidewalk, the City and County of Honolulu is on the verge of dropping its appeal and settling the case.

[Civil Beat, City To Settle Trip-and-Fall Case for $1 Million, 8/17/2011]

Of course, the City will not sell a bunch of buses or the mayor’s desk to pay for the settlement. You and I, taxpayers, will pay for it out of our tax money.

How many sidewalk cracks would a million dollars have paid to fix, not to mention avoiding the pain and injury suffered by the person who fell?

Unfortunately (for pedestrians and those on wheelchairs or scooters) Honolulu’s sidewalks can be in very bad repair, and the city does nothing about them.

Back in 2008 we reported on this lawsuit, and lamented that the City takes such poor care of its sidewalks. (See: City's neglect goes on and on, resulting in expensive lawsuits, 6/3/2008.)  I had reported holes and cracks on a stretch of sidewalk not too far from town, but no one had come to fix it despite several phone calls.

I can’t find my article, but I recall mentioning the particular sidewalk hole even earlier than 2008. The hole fills with leaves and water in the rain and someone on a scooter could easily run into it.

That was more than three years ago. The same hole and cracks (plus a few more) are still there. The article has photos. Take a look, and see if you don’t agree it would be worth our taxpayer money to fix it.

It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

There are still corners without sidewalk cutouts. I’ve reported on these and called them in, but the years have gone by and still no repair on one that I pass often. One day someone in a wheelchair could get creamed by a turning vehicle from Vineyard Blvd. onto Queen Emma, and they could be injured or die, and of course the city would be liable as well.

Why not fix these things?



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