Rutherford County, TN Faces $300K Lawsuit in Polling Place Trip and Fall

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Tennessee’s Rutherford County (Murfreesboro) is facing a $300K lawsuit after an elderly voter suffered injuries after a trip and fall in a polling place last year. The Daily News Journal has more:

May Glover, an elderly Murfreesboro woman, was at the Rutherford County Election Commission to vote during the 2018 election when she tripped over an extension cord, fracturing two bones. Now she’s suing the county and commission for $300,000.

Glover, 85, arrived at the commission on the Murfreesboro square on July 24 to early vote. After registering, she turned to get in line and tripped over an exposed extension cord that had been left in the walkway, the lawsuit says. She fell, fracturing her knee and arm — injuries that amounted to nearly $60,000 in treatment costs and made independent living difficult. 

The cord wasn’t under the registration table where it should’ve been, the lawsuit — which was filed on April 17 — says.

The elderly woman was rushed via ambulance to a hospital where she underwent lengthy and extensive hospitalization, treatment and rehabilitation, including two stints at Adams Place, an assisted living facility. 

Attorneys for Glover and the county didn’t respond to comment on the lawsuit.

The mere fact that a lawsuit has been filed doesn’t mean that the County will be on the hook for the full $300K (just like merely filing a piece of legislation doesn’t mean it will pass). I’ll be curious to see what comes of this lawsuit, given that personal injury suits are often settled – but this story does highlight another thing local election officials need to be thinking (and worrying!) about when preparing polling places for Election Day. As concerns grow about polling place safety in an era with mass shooting threats and fears of terrorism, this case is a reminder that innocuous things like extension cords can literally and figuratively trip us up.  [If you listen carefully, you can hear my friend Amber McReynolds stage-whispering “VOTE AT HOME.”] Watch your step and stay tuned…

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