Man slashes toe on sidewalk, ACHD refuses to pay bill

Man slashes toe on sidewalk, ACHD refuses to pay bill »Play Video
BOISE, Idaho - Michael Lawson of Boise was walking his dog in the North End last summer when he stepped into trouble.

“I tripped over a piece of metal sticking up out of the sidewalk," Lawson said. "It turns out that piece of metal is the base from where a street sign was attached to it and knocked it out.”

Lawson sliced his toe in three places.

He went to see the doctor to patch it up. The bill topped $400, but what happened next added insult to injury for Lawson.

“I turned in an accident claim on Ada County Highway District and it refused to pay the medical bill," he said. "What kind of statement are you saying to the community? If there's going to be an injury or problem like this, 'sorry, don't know what to tell you you're out of luck."

 Cut Toe

KBOI 2News contacted ACHD and leaders refused to comment on Lawson’s case. But an official did say that these decisions are made on a case by case basis, and there's no set policy in place.

In an e-mail, ACHD spokeswoman Christine Myron cited a state law.

"Agencies like ACHD have to be on notice to be liable," Myron said. "If we do not have knowledge of a potentially unsafe situation within our jurisdiction, we cannot be held responsible."

It’s a law that doesn’t seem fair to Lawson.

“If they came onto my property and got injured, my insurance or myself would be responsible," he said. "I can't see how it can be any different or why it should be any different.”

ACHD says it relies on its workers, police and the public to help identify issues along its 2,200 miles of roads in the county.

The sign has since been fixed.


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