A Florida man was seriously injured when he fell into an open manhole on a city street. The manhole cover is very heavy and requires a special tool to remove it. He was not rescued until a passer-by noticed the open hole several hours later.
As a result of the fall, he lost consciousness. When he awoke, he found that he could not feel his legs. He is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Municipalities have an obligation to maintain public property in safe condition for the general public. However, local governmental entities and the State have special immunities and defenses from lawsuits that private property owners do not have. Pursuing a case against a local governmental entity or the State can be a difficult undertaking because of this, so anyone injured on public property is strongly advised to promptly hire a well-qualified attorney.