Woman Who Tripped on Shreveport Sidewalk Now Awarded $50K
The Second Circuit Court of Appeal has doubled damages in Maudie Mae Brown's case against the city of Shreveport, awarding the elderly woman $50,000 in damages.
On March 7, 2013, Brown was walking on the sidewalk running along St. Vincent Avenue in Shreveport. She was almost 74 years old at the time and for over 20 years, she had been a permanent pre-kindergarten classroom aide at Atkins Elementary School.
According to a report by the Second Circuit, at the time of her accident, Brown was also employed by Urban Support, working after school assisting children with their homework. At the end of her workday, she would routinely ride with the children on a school bus to take them home. She was escorting a child home, when she tripped and fell over a raised portion of the sidewalk, fracturing her shoulder.
She filed suit against the city, and the trial court determined that the city's sidewalk had a raised misunion, which was defective and presented an unreasonable risk of harm to Brown. The trial court assigned 50% comparative fault to each party, concluding that had Brown looked down, she could have seen the defect.
The court awarded special damages for medical expenses in the amount of $8,547.00, lost wages of $3,964.50 and general damages totaling $25,000. The city appealed the court's judgement, and Brown answered the appeal.
Judges said Brown made a "compelling argument why courts should use a more holistic approach to determine an award of general damages." After consulting several similar cases, they decided to double Brown's general damages.