Ridgewood to Pay $15K to Sidewalk Tripper

Runner sued the town after tripping on a raised sidewalk while running, report says.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A Ho-Ho-Kus woman who fell while running on a sidewalk in Ridgewood will get $15,000 from the borough, NorthJersey.com reported.

According to the report, the woman, Mary Somerwitz, tripped on a residential road near the border of the two towns. One of the sidewalk slabs had risen about an inch off the ground, which caused the fall, the report said.

The $15,000 settlement cut Ridgewood’s costs, and limited the village’s exposure, Village Attorney Matt Rogers told NorthJersey.com.

"We wanted a say in the outcome of this case," he said. "With a jury trial, you have no say." 

John Briggs February 24, 2014 at 03:24 PM
While I don't agree with this lawsuit, based upon the very limited facts provided in this article, I also don't think it was a bad decision to just pay 15K to this woma. It is simply a business decision. In order to defend this suit properly, Ridgewood would have to pay their attorneys, costs associated with the case and possibly hire an expert. There is only a small chance that this case would get dismissed on a Motion to Dismiss or even a motion for summary judgment. Instead, Ridgewood would likely have to defend itself at trial before a jury. That is a HUGE risk even if the facts are good for Ridgewood- Just look at what happened with the kid who drowned at Graydon Pool whose family was awarded 5Mil. Ultimately, trial is a gamble. 15K is chump change when looking at this from a business judgment perspective
Martha February 25, 2014 at 06:48 AM
While there are too many lawsuits of this nature, the article neglected to indicate what type of injuries the woman suffered from this incident. This would have shed some light as to whether the settlement was a wise decision. John Briggs is correct about what costs are involved in defending oneself.
Harlan Consider February 25, 2014 at 09:20 AM
I have no idea whether this claim was legitimate or not, but we live in an age now where you can't help but feel suspicious about these types of claims.
JT February 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM
I agree with John Briggs, but my concern is that it encourages others to do the same as this Mary Somerwitz. My son was walking briskly wearing flip flops, hit one of those raised sidewalks and his skin was literally scraped off his toe. I mentioned it to the homeowner just to make her aware. It was an accident. I hope Somerwitz is reading these and that she sticks to running in HoHoKus!
Joe the average American guy. February 26, 2014 at 11:41 AM
jt that is exactly the point it sets a harrowing precedent


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