Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer on St. Louis Man Who Fell Through Manhole

By March 12, 2009Negligence

A man in his forties had to be rescued by firefighters March 5 when he unexpectedly fell through a manhole cover in northern St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch reported. According to the article, the man was walking through an alley near Cavalry Cemetery when he plunged 15 feet into the sewer and was trapped. It was unclear how he fell, but firefighters found the manhole cover in the sewer with him, suggesting that the cover slipped or broke. He was taken to the hospital for examination.
Accidents with holes in the street don’t happen nearly as often as auto accidents in Missouri, but they may be more common than you think. As the article notes, a similar accident happened in St. Louis recently when a woman fell through a chute outside an abandoned high school and ended up with hypothermia from waiting for rescue in four feet of standing water. And in New York, a woman fell through a sidewalk grating in May of 2007, landing ten feet below in an electric transformer.
These underground facilities are typically established and maintained by government agencies or utility companies. They, and their employees, are entrusted with the public’s safety when they are authorized to open and close these holes in the street. Naturally, pedestrians must take reasonable care to avoid obvious hazards — but utility and municipal workers must also take reasonable care to avoid creating hazards. That’s especially true for hidden hazards that only look safe, as the manhole cover in this case may have been.
People who are seriously hurt by an organization’s carelessness, or inaction on a serious danger, have the right to hold that organization responsible for any harm it causes. In a St. Louis personal injury lawsuit, victims can win back all of the costs caused by the accident, including their medical bills; lost wages for time they were forced to take off work; and compensation for a serious disability, pain and emotional suffering. However, suing a government agency can be difficult, involving complicated rules and very tight deadlines. To maximize your chances of success, experts recommend that you speak to a Missouri personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Carey, Danis & Lowe can help. If you or someone you love has been hurt through someone else’s carelessness in Missouri or southern Illinois, and you’d like to learn more, please contact us through our Web site or call 1-877-678-3400 to arrange a free consultation.