Is there any action that can be taken regarding a lose manhole cover?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is there any action that can be taken regarding a lose manhole cover?

I work for FedEx and I just dropped off some packages to a house. As I was

returning to my truck, I was walking on the sidewalk wheeling my dolly. I

stepped on a manhole on a sewer drain. However, the lid wasn’t closed all of the way and my left leg fell in and I scrapped my inner left leg on the inside of the manhole. The lid then flipped up and smacked me on the left side of my thigh and I have scrapes and a bruise on my thigh from the lid hitting my thigh and I have scrapes on my inner leg, which I’m sure will bruise up tomorrow. I was pretty much left limping to finish the rest of the day with sharp pains in my left leg. Is there anything that can be done?

Asked on June 15, 2018 under Personal Injury, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing to do.
1) First, scrapes and bruises are NEVER worth legal action. You can only recover your actual medical costs, lost wages from the injury, and for a *significant* injury leading to significant and long lasting (many weeks at least, as a practical matter) life impairment, some amount for "pain and suffering." Without major impairment or large medical costs or being kept from work for weeks, you'll spend more on the lawsuit than you'll get back.
2) The city would only be liable in any event, if you had injuries serious enough to economically support suing over, if you can show that the city *knew* the manhole cover was loose (e.g. someone reported it) but failed to do anything, or that a city employee had carelessly left it loose.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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