City agrees to pay $185K to woman who fell through water meter vault, breaking foot

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Photo by Jeff Kramer, via Flickr

A New York woman is set to receive a settlement years after suing the city for a broken foot she sustained falling through a water meter vault in Belair-Edison, requiring multiple surgeries and more than $100,000 in medical bills.

Baltimore’s spending board is due to approve the deal Wednesday morning for Monica Booker-Brooks, listed in court records as a New York City resident. Booker-Brooks sued for negligence last year, nearly three years after she fell into “an unsecured water meter vault lid” at 3630 Elmley Ave., just before midnight in July 2015, according to this week’s Board of Estimates agenda.

Booker-Brooks had to have three surgeries—including a midfoot fusion, in which a doctor fuses together the bones making up the arch—on her left foot that “left her permanently impaired,” the agenda says. The ordeal left her with around $101,000 in medical bills and caused her to lose 23 months of work, totaling $84,550 in wages, according to the city.

She originally sought more than $200,000 in damages, but as City Solicitor Andre Davis explained in an email, at that point state law didn’t allow cities and counties to be liable for more than $200,000. (She apparently just missed the cut-off to seek more; state lawmakers doubled the cap to $400,000 in 2015, applying to cases starting in October 2015 or thereafter.)

“In light of the legal issues and injuries suffered by the Plaintiff, and to avoid the risks and expenses of further litigation and trial,” both sides agreed on a settlement for $185,000 for her to drop her case, the agenda says. The Law Department’s Settlement Committee reviewed and recommended the settlement in February.

One of Booker-Brooks’ attorneys, Irvin Weiss, declined to comment via an assistant, saying it’s a “confidential settlement.” Her other listed attorney, Carl Tuerk Jr., did not immediately respond to a message.

Davis declined to remark further on the case.

Ethan McLeod
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  1. My daughter did this in baltimore city at age 10. Broker both arms in both places she got $10,000 because a jury wouldn’t award a child. She is 20 and still has pain.

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