Doug / 05-17-2011 / Defective products

Wheelchair Bound Man Falls, Sues City for Defective Ramp

According to the Sheboygan Press, a personal injury lawsuit against the City of Sheboygan is going to trial next week. A jury will decide whether to hold the city liable for injuries suffered when a man’s wheelchair tipped on a ramp between the street and sidewalk. Ronald Behr, with the help of his personal injury lawyer, filed suit in March 2010, seeking compensation for a 2009 incident alleging he had suffered severe and permanent injuries from the fall. The complaint did not specify the nature of his injuries.

The trial is expected to last two days before Judge Angela Sutkiewicz. Behr said that he was on a ramp from the sidewalk to the street when a piece of patched asphalt broke loose, causing his wheelchair to dig in the pavement, pitch forward and throw him to the ground. Behr alleges the city was careless and negligent in repairing the defective product, and that the city was aware of the danger of the carelessly patched asphalt. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages as determined at trial and reimbursement of personal injury lawyer fees.

The city has denied negligence and says it received no notice of a defect in the wheelchair tamp. Behr filed the suit after the Common Council refused his initial claim for damages. By voting unanimously, the board agreed to deny the claim, and allege that Behr also suffered a similar fall at a different intersection.

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