ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Florida Department of Transportation has been sued over alleged negligence regarding the maintenance and repair of a manhole cover.
Antonio Chris McHenry, 22 of St. Petersburg, filed suit against the Department on October 6 over a pedestrian accident that occurred on July 16, 2021.
According to the lawsuit, McHenry was standing on the sidewalk in front of Salem’s Gyros and Subs at 880 34th Street in St. Petersburg, waiting for the traffic light to change.
When the light changed, McHenry allegedly began to enter the intersection by foot when he stepped onto a manhole cover that suddenly collapsed. The suit states he fell five feet into the manhole and sustained a permanent injury.
The suit claims the Florida Department of Transportation neglected to provide proper inspection and adequate maintenance and repair of the manhole cover. It also states the Department should have posted a warning sign or fixed the manhole cover to avoid such a catastrophe.
McHenry’s injuries were not specified, but he is filing for damages and compensation due to both physical and mental effects from the incident and the inability to work and earn expected wages. He also claims he has lost his ability to lead and enjoy a normal life.
The suit demands judgment against the Florida Department of Transportation in excess of $30,000.
In February, Pinellas County Commissioners allocated $20 Million in funds for part of what has been referred to as “long overdue” sidewalk, drain and road repair problems, according to Catalyst news. More funds were expected to be allocated at that time.
Jamie R. Tasker of Morgan and Morgan in Tampa is McHenry’s attorney. She could not be reached for comment. McHenry also could not be reached.
The Florida Department of Transportation does not comment on active litigation.