Grandma can’t recover damages from MESD over slip in Nameoki ditch, appellate court rules

Donna Godair of Granite City can’t sue Metro East Sanitary District over injuries from a fall near the Nameoki ditch behind her home, Fifth District appellate judges ruled on March 17.

They affirmed Madison County Circuit Judge Sarah Smith, who granted summary judgment to the sanitary district.

“Anywhere there is a moving body of water and steep edges, the risk is that getting too close to those edges might result in just the type of accident that occurred here,” Justice Randy Moore wrote.

Godair sued the sanitary district in 2016, claiming she sank as she turned from a maintenance road above the ditch to keep a grandchild way from the water.

Her attorney Edward Unsell of East Alton served a request for admissions that classified the maintenance toad as a parkway.

The sanitary district didn’t respond, and Smith granted a motion to deem all requests as admissions.

Unsell claimed the admissions established that the path required maintenance as a parkway, like a strip between sidewalk and curb.

The sanitary district moved to strike the word parkway, and Circuit Judge William Mudge denied the motion in 2018.

“It should be pointed out that no request specifically asked the defendant to admit that the area in question is in fact a parkway,” Mudge wrote.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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