Cyclist Received Settlement After Missing Sidewalk Crash

  • Venue: St. Louis County Circuit Court
  • Case Number / Date: 15SL-CC01410/July 1, 2016
  • Caption: Kimball Nill v. Holloran Contracting Inc.; American Telephone and Telegraph
  • Plaintiff's Attorney: Gary Burger, Burger Law, St. Louis
  • Defendant's Attorney: Steven Hughes, Hughes Harris Law, St. Louis, (for AT&T); Patricia Caragher, St. Louis, (for Holloran)

A dispute over a removed section of a sidewalk and a resulting bicycle crash has brought about a $270,000 settlement for a St. Louis County man.

“He didn’t recognize the sidewalk was missing in time to avoid it,” said Gary Burger of Burger Law.

The firm represented Kimball Nill who, according to his petition, hit the gap in the walkway, flipped over the handlebars of his bike and lost consciousness before awakening sometime later. He filed suit over the September 2014 accident against AT&T and one of its contractors, Holloran Contracting Inc., which had removed the sidewalk in order to complete some work.

Temporary fencing had been erected but had fallen to the side, no signage existed to warn of the possible hazard, and the area had not been checked by the defendants for some time, Burger said.

“Little fences like that, with a couple wooden stakes, they’re going to come down whether it is kids playing with them on a public sidewalk or the weather,” he said.

Much of his case stressed the lack of a proper permit from St. Louis County in the matter, Burger said. That put the defendants in violation of local ordinance, Burger said, something he contended was directly connected to the safety of cyclists like his client as well as pedestrians.

“One of the reasons for permitting is that when the county knows that a project is up, they send inspectors every once in awhile to make sure the barricades are still up and the area is still safe,” he said.

Burger said in a submission to Missouri Lawyers Weekly that he deposed an official from St. Louis County who confirmed the lack of a permit. The submission also said the county erected a “sidewalk closed” sign after the accident.

Nill failed to see the gap because the missing section had filled with water after a rain, Burger said.

Steven Hughes of Hughes Harris Law represented AT&T. He said a permit had been obtained but the work ended up in a slightly different location, which changed jurisdiction.

“A permit was obtained literally for the sidewalk in the front yard and then they realized they needed to go to the back yard. That went from Chesterfield to St. Louis County,” he said.

Regardless, Hughes felt that part of the matter was a moot point.

“My view of it was that the issue of whether or not a permit had been obtained was irrelevant to the issue of fault for this incident,” he said. “The permitting issue was simply a revenue generator and so that the county could keep track of who had done work. It wasn’t going to create an inspection situation or any type of activity on the part of the county that was somehow going to direct how this work was done and what signage was put up or not put up.”

He confirmed that fencing was initially present in the area and that no sign had been used.

“There was no sign and I don’t think a sign is required,” he said.

Hughes said he was not sure of when the fencing of the gap had last been checked but that it had been erected properly and apparently knocked out of place at a later time.

He said that it was in dispute whether water was present in the sidewalk gap at the time of the incident.

Hughes felt that he would have had a good case to make had the matter gone to trial.

“[The plaintiff] claimed he was riding at walking speed and nothing blocked his view of this area in the last at least 50 feet leading up to that spot so I think the jury would have had a significant issue to look at with respect to comparative fault,” he said.

Hughes also added that there may have been issues over causation of the intra-cranial pressure which the plaintiff suffered that he said may have been related to heart medication the plaintiff was taking.

Burger said his client had a good recovery despite sustaining a closed head injury and facial fractures and returned to work with no lasting deficits.

No liability was admitted by any party in the settlement which was reached through mediation.

Patricia Caragher, who represented the defendant contractor, declined to comment for this story.

Request a Free Consultation


“Gary and his team provided us with effective, efficient and highly professional service. Gary provides sound advice and is a trustworthy and ethical attorney. I highly recommend the team!”

David and Fran Schneider

Hurt? Hire Us Today or call (314) 648-8348

We Deliver Great Results

Over $170 Million won for our clients


$5,000,000 Settlement - Father Killed by Reckless Truck Driver

$5 Million


Personal Injury Lawyer, Gary Burger and Burger Law represented a family of a man killed ...

View Wrongful Death Result

$3 Million Judgment - Son Murdered by Pam Hupp

$3 Million


$3 Million Judgment. Gary Burger represented Margaret Burch, the mother of murder victim Louis Gumpenberger. ...

View Wrongful Death Result

$2.5 Million Settlement for Father's Fatal Car Accident

$2.5 Million


$2.5 Million Wrongful Death Settlement For Daughters of Fatal Car Accident Victim Gary Burger of ...

View Wrongful Death Result

Multi-Car Crash Caused by Debris from Commercial Truck - $2,000,000 Settlement

$2 Million


The St. Louis area personal injury attorneys at Burger Law represented a woman who swerved ...

View Truck Accident Result

Injured Woman Settles Highway Crash Lawsuit - $2,000,000 Settlement

$2 Million


In addition to the above case, you need to be creative in finding insurance in ...

View Truck Accident Result

$1.435 Million Settlement Against Three Defendants After Extensive Litigation

$1.4 Million


Gary represented the Macharias and settled the case for $1.435 million against three parties after ...

View Premise Liability Result

View More Results

Common Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

The success of your personal injury claim depends on many factors and a lot goes into determining the value of your case. Get a better understanding of what to expect and what you can do through our answers to some of the most common questions we hear from injury victims and their families.

View all FAQs

How To Choose The Right Personal Injury Lawyer For Me

How do you determine which personal injury lawyer is right for you? As you've undoubtedly heard the disclaimer at the end of TV and radio commercials for law firms: the choice of a lawyer is important and should not be based solely upon advertisements. The key is to speak with the lawyer and de …

View Full Answer

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

Do you know how long you have to file a personal injury claim? Or when the best time is to file one? Is it better to do it immediately after your accident or to wait until you know how significantly your injuries have affected your life? These are just the beginning of the string of questions t …

View Full Answer

What Tricks Do Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Paying Claims?

When you have a personal injury claim, be aware of the tricks insurance companies will use to try to avoid paying claims like yours. While there are some occasions where the defendant's insurance company will act in good faith and offer a fair settlement without extensive litigation, it is more co …

View Full Answer

View all FAQs

Schema