Manhole incident subject of premises liability claim

Jon Campisi Jul. 11, 2011, 5:11pm

A Philadelphia woman whose leg allegedly got caught in an exposed manhole is suing the City of Philadelphia and others for injuries she received because of the incident.

Philadelphia attorney Samuel F. Kafrissen, of the Law Offices of Samuel F. Kafrissen, P.C., filed the premises liability lawsuit July 8 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Minnique Washington.

Aside from the city, the other defendants named in the suit are the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

According to the complaint, Washington was walking in the area of 59th and Delancey streets in late November 2009 when she stepped on a manhole cover that shifted, causing her leg to go inside the manhole.

The incident caused Washington to sustain various physical injuries, including, but not limited to, left knee strain and sprain with contusion, left ankle strain and sprain, and other orthopedic, neurologic and psychological injuries the full extent of which have not yet been determined, the lawsuit states. The incident also may have aggravated a previously existing condition.

The lawsuit faults the defendants for allowing a manhole to become dangerously loose, failing to properly inspect, maintain and repair the area in question, and failing to provide for the safety of persons lawfully on the street.

The complaint alleges that the plaintiff has had to expend large sums of money for medical and surgical attention, hospitalization, medical supplies and surgical appliances and medicines.

Washington demands judgment against the defendants, jointly and/or severally, in an amount not in excess of the arbitrational limits.

The non-jury matter has been scheduled for a mid March 2012 arbitration hearing.

The case number is 110700536.

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