Kelly Holleran Jan. 17, 2013, 7:39am

A man has filed suit against Illinois American Water Company, alleging he tripped on a frozen patch of ice that had accumulated in front of his garage door after the water company failed to fix a leaking pipe.

Jack W. Cope claims that a leak had developed between the water line under the street and the service meter, which caused water to rise and run down Hill Street, where he lived. Soon thereafter, water workers came to repair the pipe, according to the complaint filed Jan. 7 in Madison County Circuit Court.

However, despite the attempted repair, water continued to leak and accumulated in front of Cope’s garage door at 1700 Hill St. in Alton, the suit states. Cope repeatedly called Illinois American Water Co. to complain about the water, the complaint says.

“Shortly prior to the occurrence herein complained of, the water flowing from the aforementioned leak froze and was covered by a snowfall occurring subsequent thereto, so that the resultant ice was covered by snow, presenting a hidden and dangerous condition,” the suit states.

On Jan. 11, 2011, when Cope attempted to open his garage door, he claims he slipped on the frozen puddle and fell. As a result, Cope sustained head, neck, arms and legs injuries; suffered physical and mental anguish; lost wages; and suffered from a diminished earning capacity, according to the complaint.

Cope blames the water company for causing his injuries, saying it negligently failed to maintain its water lines, failed to warn Cope that its water lines would continue to leak, failed to repair the leak after Cope’s repeated phone calls and failed to divert the flow of water from Cope’s property, the suit states.

In his two-count complaint, Cope is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

He will be represented by Carol L. Cagle of Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-26.

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