Elburn couple still waiting to resolve lawsuit over broken ankle

By on August 12, 2011

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—An Elburn woman is still waiting after three years to resolve a lawsuit to pay for medical costs after she stepped in a hole and broke her ankle.

Colleen MacRunnels and her husband Jim said they were on their way to volunteer at the 2009 RiverFest in St. Charles at Pottawatomie Park when she stepped on a mat that had been placed over a hole. She fell and broke her left ankle.

“I was down on the ground, my glasses flew off,” she said. “I didn’t know what happened.”

She said she was assured by the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, which hosts the event, that the medical costs would be covered.

“When you break something and you’re told by the people, ‘we have insurance, we’re gonna take care of it for you,’ and it doesn’t get paid,” Colleen MacRunnels said, “my insurance company wants to be reimbursed.”

She said she requested the necessary forms from the organization to turn in to her insurance company, but never got a response.

“After six weeks, I called the lady in charge and she told me she thought it was all resolved,” Jim MacRunnels said.

Joy Meierhans, events coordinator for River Fest, said she did offer to pay for the hospital expenses and that “we’re insured.”

“The lawyers have taken over. Nothing has been resolved,” she said.

Meierhans said the necessary forms were handed over, and that she had gotten approval from the insurers when the MacRunnels wanted to switch to a different orthopaedic practice. She said they are suing for medical expenses and also “loss of services,” a legal term referring to the loss of familial contributions.

Initially, Colleen MacRunnels said she just wanted reimbursement for medical bills after getting hurt on the event property. After getting frustrated over what she said was no response, the matter was turned over to Aurora attorney Douglas Sullivan, who could not be reached.

The lawsuit was filed last year in Cook County, but Jim MacRunnels, who is also a plaintiff in the suit, said the judge determined the case should be heard in Kane County, a decision he and his wife accept.

In addition to the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, other defendants include Frontier Management, the St. Charles Festival Committee and Harris Bank. The parties involved will be back in court Thursday, Aug. 18.