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Cochran Woman Trips on Broken Sidewalk, Claims City Should Pay Medical Expenses

IMG 0008COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - A Cochran woman is demanding the city cough up the cash to pay for her medical expenses after she tripped and fell over a broken sidewalk. She tells 41NBC she wants Cochran to be held responsible, but the city claims it isn't at fault.

It happened on October 23, 2012. Shirley and Lamar Hancock finished voting at the Bleckley County Courthouse and were

"I wasn't paying no attention, I stepped in that hole, went down. I went in between the car and curb and hit the back of my head and everything. My neck, I heard a snap a little bit," Shirley Hancock said.

Shirley went to the hospital and received more than five thousands dollars worth of medical expenses. The Hancocks reached out to the City of Cochran shortly after the incident and claimed it should pay their bills.

"I kept in correspondence with the city and they kept saying you need to be in touch with the insurance, so I've been with the insurance [going] back and forth talking to them," Lamar Hancock said.

The Hancocks finally got an answer in December. In a letter from the city's insurance company, OneBeacon America Insurance Company, it said in part,

"Our investigation of this claim has not revealed or established any evidence of negligence...Therefore, we must respectfully deny your claim."

"It made me mad. I thought they would have owned up to it and done the right thing," Lamar Hancock said.

A few weeks ago, crews came out to Cherry Street in downtown Cochran and fixed the sidewalk. City officials say Cochran is responsible for maintaining public walkways and repairs them when it has the funds.

"They act like they're not responsible, don't want to do nothing about it,." Lamar Hancock said.

The Hancocks say the sidewalk should have been fixed months ago and now Shirley is living with the pain.

"I just want people in Cochran to wake up. The city is not owning up to to their responsibilities," she said.

41NBC called Cochran City Manager Ray Gibson but he refused to comment. The Hancocks have reached out to a lawyer but say they do not want to sue the city. They hope city officials will own up to the incident and settle this outside the courtroom.

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