A consultant hired by the city to evaluate hazardous materials in two vacant buildings will be paid $165,000 to compensate him for a fall that resulted in a broken knee.
The Spokane City Council this week unanimously approved a settlement with Ron Knutson, owner of Mountain Consulting Services. He was finishing a tour of the Carnation Dairy on Nov. 17 with a park employee and officials from other companies that were interested in bidding on the environmental work when the ladder he was on shifted and he fell, according to the claim he filed with the city.
The city bought a portion of the former Carnation Dairy, also known as the Broadview Dairy, and Carnation’s vacant garage as part of a 1999 voter-approved park tax.
Knutson’s claim says that during reconstructive surgery on his knee on Nov. 30, he developed severe complications from a blood clot, resulting in a 10-day hospital stay that included time in intensive care. Knutson, of Newport, Wash., said in an interview that he missed three months of work after his fall and that he still may need to have his knee replaced.
The agreement says Knutson will receive $150,000 and his insurance company, Calypso, will be paid $25,000. It also says that the city previously paid Knutson $15,000.
The 4-foot folding ladder had been placed against a concrete loading dock and Knutson said he was about 2 feet from the ground when he fell.
“It was just the way my knee hit the concrete curb,” Knutson said in the interview.
His claim said the city park employee who set up the ladder should not have used a folding ladder.
“The city is liable because a safe access to the building was not provided,” the claim said. “The ladder used was not either of proper type or was the folding ladder properly placed and secured.”
Leroy Eadie, Spokane’s parks director, called the fall “an unfortunate incident.”
After the tour, Mountain Consulting Services won the bid to do the environmental assessments of the dairy and the adjacent garage. The parks department paid $3,500 for the asbestos surveys, said Riverfront Park Manager Craig Butz.