Moshe Altman, 10, fell through a manhole in Borough Park, Brooklyn and plummeted about 20 feet down into a subway tunnel, reported the New York Daily News (1.14.13). Altman suffered cuts to his right leg that required stitches. He was extremely lucky to have escaped serious injury.
The 6th grader was rescued by two Verizon workers after his fall into the sewer.
In the tunnel, the water was reportedly up to Altman’s ankles. If it had been raining, there was a possibility the boy would have been swept away, said one of the workers. .
According to the New York Daily News, the boy’s father “questioned how his son was able to fall through the opening in the first place.” Other New Yorkers are asking this same question. Open or broken manholes can be a real danger to pedestrians.
In Altman’s case, the manhole cover was shattered, but how is broke is still unknown. The steel cover may have given way under the boy’s step, or cracked by a passing car or some other force.
The accident is under investigation.
Sidewalks and New York personal injury accidents
The New York City Department of Transportation’s staff manages approximately 6,300 miles of streets and highways and over 12,000 miles of sidewalk, according to the DOT’s website. One of the agency’s goals is to keep those City sidewalks safe for pedestrians. Street and sidewalk accidents may result in serious injury and, even, death.
Broken manholes can cause serious accidents. In addition to manhole covers cracking, there have been cases where negligent workers have left manholes completely uncovered. Sometimes, the manhole cover that looks stable at a glance turns out to be faulty, or unstable. This, too, can be extremely hazardous for any pedestrian.
A fall into a manhole can change a person’s life.
Negligence can cause pedestrian accident injuries
Sidewalk or manhole accidents may happen when there is negligence on behalf of the property owner. When the party creating the hazardous condition fails to warn pedestrians of the dangers, they will be held negligent. Each case is different and requires careful inspection, investigation, and evaluation of the facts.
Typically, the owners of the manhole covers, for example utility companies, transit authorities or the city, are the ones liable for injuries caused by inadequate maintenance.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a New York sidewalk accident, consult with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.