CCDC could face lawsuit over New Year's Eve injury

A Boise woman claims that she slipped on ice going to the potato drop.

sberg@idahostatesman.comMarch 14, 2014 

Boise's urban renewal agency has received a notice of tort claim from the attorney for Sheryl Lambert, alerting the agency that she plans to sue.

According to the notice, Lambert was walking on the Grove Plaza toward Downtown Boise's New Year's festivities - featuring a 17-foot potato dropping from the U.S. Bank building - when she "stepped on ice, causing her to slip and fall."

"Ms. Lambert fell and broke her ankle, requiring emergency personnel to take her via ambulance to the hospital," according to the notice, signed by her attorney, Matthew Andrew of Nampa's Goicoechea Law Offices.

Capital City Development Corporation owns the Grove Plaza and pays the Greater Boise Auditorium District to maintain it.

"As a result of the negligence and failure of the (urban renewal agency) to maintain the property in a safe condition for the public, Ms. Lambert underwent surgery and other extensive medical treatment," according to the notice.

The total damages due Lambert are unknown but "are expected to be greater than $100,000," according to the notice.

Efforts to contact Lambert were unsuccessful.

John Brunelle said this is the first time the agency has been on the wrong end of personal-injury litigation since he became its executive director in June.

"It's not unprecedented. It happens occasionally," he said.

Brunelle said Wednesday that the agency has turned the case over to its attorneys, so he couldn't comment further.

Andrew said the notice of tort claim is required because Lambert is acting against a public agency. The renewal agency has until late April to settle, dispute or otherwise respond to the claim. If the agency doesn't respond, Andrew said, Lambert can file a complaint, beginning an official lawsuit.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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