Cook County Record

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Palos Heights nature center visitor sues after trip-and-fall on wooden footbridge

By Carol Ostrow | May 25, 2015

A woman has sued the city of Palos Heights for alleged liability after she tripped and fell on a wooden walkway at a city-owned nature center in 2014.

Catherine Gonzalez brought suit May 6 in Cook County Circuit Court against the city and Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens, alleging willful and wanton liability in a May 2014 injury.

The plaintiff was on the grounds of the property located at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights, on May 31, 2014. The property spans 85 acres of water, wooded trails, gardens, open space and meeting facilities.

According to papers filed, Gonzalez stumbled and fell on a wooden footbridge. Alleging the walking surface was uneven, the plaintiff argues that the defendants knew or should have known of its condition.

The suit maintains the defendants constructed an unsafe and defective footbridge; failed to inspect, maintain, and repair the property; and neglected to warn pedestrians of the hazard.

Gonzalez alleges personal injury and claims loss of a normal life, medical bills and lost earning capacity. The plaintiff seeks compensation of more than $50,000, plus attorney’s fees and costs. She is represented by Andrew Allen, of Costello, McMahon, Burke & Murphy, of Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No.: 15-L-4670.

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