A local resident is suing the city of Waxahachie, alleging its negligence led to her falling and breaking both of her legs.
The retired deli manager said her right leg still hasn’t healed from the accident, which occurred Oct. 18 in downtown Waxahachie.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed May 10 in 40th District Court, Norma Kuykendall had exited Mary and Martha’s at 211 S. College St., where she had been looking for a study Bible for her daughter, and was walking toward a nearby sloped ramp to get to the street and return to her vehicle.
“Plaintiff did not and was not otherwise aware of an angled step-off shaped like a triangle in the area near the ramp,” the lawsuit reads, saying the step-off wasn’t painted or marked and “was not a normal type of construction.”
Kuykendall said she went to put her foot down, but it wasn’t on solid ground. She turned her ankle and snapped it, and when she tried to straighten up, she fell forward down the ramp, at which time her right leg snapped above the knee.
She recalls screaming from the pain and telling her daughter to tell emergency responders to leave her right leg alone and “put it down.”
But it wasn’t the emergency responders holding her leg that had caused the pain she felt, Kuykendall said, saying she learned her right femur bone had broken in two, with one end sticking into the muscle.
“It was fixing to come through the skin,” she said.
She was transported by ambulance to the emergency room and later spent about six weeks in therapy before her insurance ran out, Kuykendall told the Daily Light in an interview Monday.
Although some of her injuries have healed, the right leg hasn’t, she said, saying she still must walk with a crutch or cane - and that she may need bone stimulation treatment before her leg heals.
“It’s very weird,” she said of the circumstances. “Never in a million years would I dream I would be walking down the street, a fairly healthy person, fall and do that much damage. It was a very freak thing.”
There were no markings or warnings of the step-off, which Kuykendall said she would have heeded.
“I try to be very careful. I make it a point to pay attention to what I’m doing because I have osteoporosis,” she said, saying she has never fallen and hurt herself like this before. “Here it is, six months now, and I still can’t walk by myself.”
The lawsuit says the city should have known of the danger and “failed to exercise ordinary care. … The unmarked, unexpected step-off posed an unreasonable and extreme risk of harm, considering the magnitude of the potential harm to others.”
Also named in the suit is Lindsey Contractors Inc., which the lawsuit alleges “was negligent in the design and construction of the step-off in question.”
Kuykendall, who has requested a jury trial, is represented by Dallas attorney Todd Clement.
Because of the pending litigation, City Manager Paul Stevens said he was not able to comment on the matter.
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