With a cellphone in one hand and folders in another, Cynthia Hedgecock said she was walking on a sidewalk in San Diego, California, when her toe got stuck in an uneven part of the sidewalk.
Hedgecock said she tripped and fell chest-first onto the pavement below on July 31, 2015, according to CBS8. At first, she didn’t think anything was wrong and continued on to her scheduled appointment as usual, and didn’t bring it up to her doctor almost a week later.
But during a follow-up appointment on Aug. 17 that same year, she came to her doctor with complaints of misshapen breasts and chest pain.
It turned out that her breast implants were ruptured, NBC San Diego reported.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
So Hedgecock — the wife of former San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock, who served from 1983 to 1985 — sued the city, arguing that it failed to properly repair the sidewalks and keep them safe.
And on Wednesday, the jury sided with the wife of the ex-mayor, agreeing that the city “behaved with negligence and carelessness” by not fixing the part of the sidewalk that brought Hedgecock tumbling down, according to the San Diego Tribune.
She received $85,000 as a part of the decision, with just under $20,000 to cover medical costs of repairing the implants and another $65,000 for emotional and physical pain.
“They could have fixed this problem, a hazard that they knew about, for $500 to a $1,000,” Brett Shcreiber, an attorney for Hedgecock, told Fox5. “So when you fail to invest in infrastructure and people needlessly get hurt, it costs you a lot. That’s the message that’s been sent by this jury.”
Hedgecock said she underwent surgery in Nov. 2015 to remove and replace her implants, and “there was a lot of pain” from those procedures. But Catherine Richardson, the chief deputy city attorney, said in court that there is no proof the fall ruptured Hedgecock’s implants.
Attorneys for the city pointed to a pair of MRIs of the implants, one taken in 2012 after Hedgecock fell during a trip in Hawaii and the other taken weeks after the 2015 fall, that they said proved her implants were already ruptured years before the high-profile fall, according to Fox5.
They also argued that no one saw Hedgecock fall, according to NBC, and that there were no photographs to detail the damage Hedgecock said she endured.
Hedgecock told CBS8 she is “beyond pleased” with the ruling.
“It was my intent in filing the case,” she told CBS 8, “that the city recognize the consequences and the pain of failing to respond to notice and the dangerous condition.”