Town Settles “Slip and Fall” Lawsuit

The “slip and fall” lawsuit brought against the town after a pedestrian fell in the vicinity of the Congregational Church has been settled for an undisclosed amount.

First Selectman Matt Riiska told the Board of Finance this week that a settlement was agreed to before the trial could begin. “They settled at about 9:30 at night,” he said. A jury had already been empaneled. 

Riiska said the town’s insurance company will pay the settlement, but he is looking to the future and prevention of future accidents. A municipality is responsible by state statute for the maintenance of sidewalks, both repairing them and clearing them following storms.

He said he contacted Julia Scharnberg, head of the Historic District Commission, to discuss the issue. “I told her there are three choices,” he said. “We can remove the walks and put in grass, we could put in gravel walks or … well, we really can’t choose three, which would be to put in granite walks.”

He will also take an ordinance to a future town meeting that would require home and business owners to clear walks in front of their properties. 

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