Man sues for allegedly falling in manhole

Kyle Barnett Feb. 28, 2012, 12:57pm

NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans man is suing the city's sewer and water provider and an apartment building owner for injuries he claims to have sustained from stepping on an unsecured manhole cover.

Terrill Johnson filed suit on Feb. 17 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court against the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, its insurer and Willows Housing Restoration.

Johnson claims he was walking in the grass near Willows Apartment Complex on his way to pick up his child when he stepped on a manhole cover that was being unseated by water flooding from beneath it. The plaintiff alleges he sustained injuries to his back, right knee and right ankle when he fell as the manhole cover slid across the surface of the water when he stepped on it and his foot and leg slid into the manhole. The defendants are accused of failing to provide warning, failing to remedy a known defect and failing to secure the manhole cover.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for pain and suffering, medical expenses, permanent disability, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and lost wages.

Johnson is being represented by Seth M. Schaumburg of New Orleans-based Favret, Demarest, Russo and Lutkewitte.

The case has been assigned to Division L Judge Kern A. Reese.

Case number 2012-01625

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