Flipped utility cover sends man into four-foot hole; Plaintiff seeks $50K plus costs from Ameren

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 4, 2013

A St. Clair County man claims he sustained hip, hand, back and nerve injuries after a utility cover unexpectedly flipped open, causing him to fall into a four-foot hole.

Ward E. Newton filed a lawsuit March 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Union Electric Company, also known as Ameren UE, also known as Ameren Illinois Company.

In his complaint, Newton alleges he was walking on a parking lot and sidewalk near 50 Ludwig Drive in Fairview Heights on March 18, 2011, when an unsecured utility cover popped open, causing Newton to fall into a four-foot hole.

In addition to his injuries, Newton incurred medical costs, experienced pain and suffering, endured disfigurement and lost his enjoyment of life, according to the complaint.

Newton blames Ameren for causing his injuries, saying the company negligently failed to properly secure its utility cover, failed to properly maintain the utility cover, failed to inspect the cover and engaged in reckless conduct.

In his complaint, Newton seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Michael L. McGlynn of McGlynn and McGlynn in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-139.

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