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Woman sues borough, construction company over fall at post office

Published On: Feb 11 2013 11:49:10 PM EST

A woman is suing a Northampton County borough and a construction company over a fall outside a post office two years ago.

Jane Kot, of 1518 Highland Drive, Lower Saucon Twp., Northampton Co., filed a civil suit Monday in Northampton County Court against the Borough of Hellertown and Posh Construction Inc., 2216 Willow Park Road, Bethlehem Twp., Northampton Co.

Kot says in her suit that her right hand has been permanently damaged because of the fall outside the post office at 660 Delaware Ave., Hellertown.


The Borough of Hellertown leased the property to the U.S. Post Office on Dec. 30, 1966, and on April 1, 1968, Hellertown assigned the lease to Posh, which is responsible for maintenance of and improvements to the property, according to the suit.

Kot tripped on an elevated lip between the concrete sidewalk slabs in front of the post office entrance on Feb. 15, 2011, "a clear dry day,"
the suit says.

As she fell, Kot reached forward with her right hand and ended up breaking two fingers, the suit says, adding that Kot also hit her right knee and the right side of her face and head on the ground.

Kot claims in her suit that when a bystander helped her back inside the post office to report her injuries, she was told that post office employees had warned both the borough and Posh about the condition of the sidewalk.

Kot was treated at St. Luke's Hospital for the broken bones in her hand as well as scrapes, cuts and bruises and a concussion, and went through physical therapy from March through June at St. Luke's Physical Therapy in Quakertown, Bucks Co., the suit says.

Because she does not have medical insurance, Kot says in her suit that she has had to spend $1,500 on medical bills.

Kot claims she has continuing pain and cannot fully straighten one of her injured fingers, and that the accident has affected her relationship with her husband James, who now has to help his spouse with everyday chores and activities, the suit says.

The Kots are charging the borough and Posh with negligence and carelessness for failing to repair the sidewalk, and are asking for more than $50,000 in damages, according to court papers.