Junction City woman sues Stanford, Lincoln County over sidewalk fall

Published 8:30 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

STANFORD — A Junction City woman has sued Stanford and Lincoln County, claiming she was permanently injured after falling on a “defective” sidewalk near the Lincoln County Courthouse in December 2016.

Millie Janet West filed a complaint in Lincoln Circuit Court on Dec. 22 against the city and county governments.

It names as defendants Judge-Executive Jim Adams, the Lincoln County Fiscal Court and fiscal court magistrates David Faulkner, Joe Stanley, Johnnie Padgett and Lonnie Pruitt, as well as “unknown employees of the Lincoln County Fiscal Court.” 

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The suit claims that on Dec. 27, 2016, West was walking on the sidewalk in Stanford, on the back side of the Lincoln County Courthouse, when she fell. 

“The sidewalk on which Plaintiff walked was defective in that it was uneven, cracked and contained loose stone,” the complaint states. “As a result of these defects, Plaintiff fell, and suffered severe and permanent injuries.” 

The suit alleges the defendants had a duty to properly “warn, maintain, inspect, fix, replace or otherwise protect” West from the “defective, dangerous, and unsafe condition on their property” and should have known that the unsafe condition on the sidewalk constituted an unreasonable risk of harm to visitors such as West. 

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages for past, present and future mental pain and suffering; future medical bills and expenses; actual, consequential, incidental and foreseeable damages; and lost wages and lost earning capacity. It also seeks attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses. 

Lexington attorneys Justin S. Peterson and Laraclay Parker, of Golden Law Office PLLC filed the lawsuit on West’s behalf. 

A response was filed on behalf of the Lincoln County on Jan. 11 by Winter R. Huff, a Somerset attorney. 

The response argues that any claims against the county officials named as defendants are barred on the grounds of governmental immunity, which protects governmental officials and agencies from being sued for performing their governmental function. 

The defense’s attorney also argues for dismissal of the claims under the “the doctrines of waiver, laches, and estoppel,” legal concepts related to the passage of time. 

A response on behalf of the City of Stanford, also a defendant named in West’s complaint, had not been filed as of Monday this week. 

Stanford City Attorney Christopher Reed said Wednesday the city’s case was referred to the Kentucky League of Cities and is being handle by attorney Charles Cole. 

Reed said Cole is also representing the city in a separate slip-and-fall lawsuit filed in January of 2016 by Janice Carol Clay Redmon. Redmon’s complaint alleged the city was responsible for clearing and salting a sidewalk she slipped on outside the Lincoln County courthouse. 

Cole could not be reached for comment Wednesday.