Longtime Fox 9 News anchor Jeff Passolt is alleging negligence against the state of Minnesota for a slip and fall on the ice two years ago outside the State Capitol, shortly after he finished interviewing former Gov. Mark Dayton.
In a suit filed this week in Ramsey County District Court, Passolt says that the fall in February 2017 caused serious and permanent injuries and has resulted in more than $50,000 in medical expenses, pain, disability, disfigurement, embarrassment and emotional distress.
Passolt fell on an icy sidewalk on the east side of Cedar Street near the Minnesota Judicial Center, where the state Supreme Court sits. He broke his hip and underwent surgery, with doctors installing screws. His recovery was complicated by his diabetes, he told the Star Tribune a month after the fall.
According to the complaint, Passolt noticed evidence of “salt or some other surface compound suggesting that the sidewalk has been maintained.”
But when he stepped, his left foot slid out from under him and caused him to fall “violently,” according to the complaint.
“I was just barely moving when I got across the street,” he told the Star Tribune two years ago. “I put my foot up on the curb — everything went flying. I had no time to think.”
The TV anchor believed the area “would have received the utmost care and attention for those maintaining it to provide safe walking for those known pedestrians.”
In the suit, he says there are products available that “will provide traction to pedestrians even through changing conditions” but that the state Department of Administration had failed to use them, resulting in unreasonably dangerous conditions.
After his fall, Passolt received flowers from Dayton.
Passolt, a Minnesota native, was a sports anchor at KARE 11 for several years before taking a sports anchoring job in Denver in 1993. He returned to the Twin Cities in 1996 to become a news anchor with Fox 9, where he has worked ever since. He was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame last year.
Passolt’s attorney, Michael Bryant, did not return a call for comment.