Woman blames City of Mullens for injuries from manhole cover

By Carol Ostrow | Aug 17, 2015

PINEVILLE – A Wyoming County woman is suing a West Virginia water utility business and a municipal entity, alleging negligence in a personal injury.

Jessica Lee Griffith, individually and as next friend of minor Levi Cooper, filed a lawsuit July 29 in Wyoming Circuit Court against the city of Mullens and Logan County PSD, alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, on Aug. 3, 2013, when Griffith was walking on a Mullens street holding her then 6-year-old son’s hand at a community yard sale, she fell into a manhole that was not covered properly. The suit says when Griffith stepped onto the manhole cover, the cover moved and she fell into the meter casing, causing injury both to herself and her child including cuts, abrasions, bruises and head injury.

The lawsuit states the defendants were in breach of duty by failing to warn the plaintiffs of the hazardous public street condition, neglecting to take precautions to protect pedestrians, and failing to maintain their public streets and manhole covers.

The plaintiff alleges several prior incidents of a similar nature occurred throughout the city of Mullens and the defendants failed to take action. The suit says the plaintiff sustained pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of earning capacity and enjoyment of life, emotional distress and medical bills.

Griffith seeks compensatory and punitive damages up to the policy limits of the defendants’ insurance coverage, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees and costs. She is represented by attorneys Kyle Lusk and Matthew Bradford of Lusk & Bradford in Beckley. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Robert A. Irons.

Wyoming Circuit Court case number 15-C-150.

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