Des Moines, Iowa — An August 2021 ruling that a man who was injured in a work accident in Sibley could not sue the City, has been overturned by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The lawsuit stemmed from a construction accident in downtown Sibley that happened in 2018. Victor Maldonado, of Worthington, was part of a renovation crew that was working on a building in downtown Sibley, on September 26, 2018. During the project, Maldonado was lowering an aluminum downspout to connect to the building’s gutter, when the downspout came in contact with a City of Sibley electrical line that sent a current through the downspout and Maldonado’s body causing, according to the lawsuit, devastating electrical burn injuries, and causing Maldonado to fall off the building’s roof, about 20 feet to the alley below, causing severe injuries.

Maldonado’s lawsuit accused the City of Sibley of negligence for allegedly failing to keep the electrical line a required minimum distance from the building. As a result, Maldonado asserted the City of Sibley knew, or should have known, that a serious injury would result.

The appeals court decision in January paved the way for the suit to continue. The City of Sibley has agreed to pay Maldonado $2.6 million, but the settlement is not an admission of liability, and will not come out of City coffers, but instead be paid by the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool, of which Sibley is a member.

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