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updated: 9/19/2013 6:20 PM

Lawsuit: Aurora crews caused wheelchair pad to collapse

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A broken water main in Aurora turned into big problems for a handicapped woman, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

Jennifer Stinson seeks unspecified damages from the city, saying that crews tending to a broken water main removed a concrete pad normally used to board a bus. The crews paved a replacement asphalt pad that collapsed when she was wheeled onto it, throwing her out of the wheelchair, the lawsuit states.

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It alleges city crews responded to a water main break on April 4, 2013, on the 1000 block of Cascade Drive. In the process of making repairs, the crew tore up a concrete pad that was the handicapped-accessible area regularly used by Stinson board a wheelchair accessible bus, the suit states. Stinson had a doctor's appointment the next day and the crew supervisor told her to used a blacktopped area paved by city crews.

"While attempting to get her wheelchair on the aforementioned blacktopped pad, the pad collapsed causing the injuries and damage to the plaintiff," read the lawsuit, which argues negligence.

Larry Amoni, who is Stinson's attorney, declined to specify the severity of Stinson's injuries or her age.

Still, Amoni believes her lawsuit has more merit that the typical "slip and fall" lawsuits commonly filed against businesses, restaurants and cities.

"It was supposed to be a pad where her wheelchair could go," Amoni said. "She called to make sure it was safe and it wasn't. I'm not an engineer, but it sounds like a comedy of errors."

Dan Ferrelli, Aurora city spokesman, said the city could not comment on the lawsuit because city officials had not yet been served with it.

The suit, which also lists Stinson's husband. Hugh, as a plaintiff, seeks additional damages, arguing city crews unnecessarily removed a tree from their property while responding to the break.

Both sides are due in court on Dec. 5.

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