Teen Girl Falls In Open Manhole While Texting

Alexa Longueira, a high school sophomore, was walking along Victory Boulevard near Travis Avenue on Staten Island Wednesday evening when she felt the earth move and was plunged into smelly darkness.

She said the manhole she fell in to was left open and unattended with no warning signs or orange cones. She said two workers with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection failed to secure the area as they prepared to flush the sewer.

“It was just really gross and it was shocking and scary,” she said. "Because of their careless mistake I got hurt."

This is such a fitting sign of the times on so many levels. :(:doh2:


And, what a surprise, her family plans to sue, as indicated by the excerpt from the article at the link below.:(:mad:

"Texting Teen Falls Down Open Manhole on Staten Island
Family Plans to Sue the City

…Alexa’s mom says it doesn’t matter that her daughter was text-messaging, the manhole should not have been left open. The family plans to file as lawsuit."

Article here: myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/nyc/090710_Texting_Teen_Falls_Down_Open_Manhole

I’m not a fan of texting at all, but it was pretty stupid for the city workers to leave the manhole open. It’s not like she was driving. There’s a reasonable expectation that things like this aren’t going to happen to you as you’re walking along a city sidewalk.

I don’t think it is really a matter of texting. Someone could have been doing a number things: watching a plane in the sky, looking in a window, or just looking in another direction. I don’t like how this is going to be slanted to portray careless teens.

She wouldn’t have fell in if the hole was covered. If she wasn’t texting, she still could have fell in.

I wonder if they had placed cones, would she have seen those? If she was so into texting that she didn’t see an open manhole, I have to wonder.

And they won’t happen to you if you watch where your walking. People shouldn’t need warning signs to prevent them from trying to walk over a gaping hole in the ground. This was the result of negligence on the part of the girl not the city.

I disagree. With the manhole covered, it is not possible to fall in. If she wasn’t texting, it is still possible to fall in an open manhole.

She could also walk into traffic. She is responsible for her own safety to a certain extent. This was an accident and both parties were at fault. She should let this go.

Texting while walking isn’t smart at all. But, to be fair, the open manhole should have been guarded. What an unusual situation!

The family will probably ensure her safety by buying her a car so she can use her cell phone, text, drink coffee, listen to tunes and…drive?

It is horrifying, yet I am not a fan of suing. I think the city should offer to pay her something for the ordeal, but most likely she will get millions. Who pays when that happens? All of us.

Is it not possible that a percentage could be used in this court case? I would say that the girl is partly responsible for this but the large majority is the fault of the city by not having pylons or something to alert to an open manhole? Say 80-20 (80% the city’s fault).

*If she was strolling at night, (it states evening) or it was turning dark, it might be hard to see an open manhole…I think that the fact she was texting didn’t mitigate the risk, but the risk was there, regardless of her texting. *

lol, I doubt she’ll get millions for falling into a “gross and scary” dark hole, but she should get something, as it could have turned out worse.

It is negligence of the city. There are regulations regarding barricades to open holes and hazards. This is why construction zones are barricaded off as well. Yes, the girl should watch where she is going more closely, but the city is definately at fault.

Whether texting or not, an open manhole is extremely dangerous. What if had been an elderly or blind person? What if had been someone with a stroller? Anyone could’ve not seen it. It is not the same thing as walking into traffic, which is a known danger.

Once, at work, I was working in our lab. I was working on a problem and was pretty engrossed in it. I wheeled my chair (our lab chairs had wheels on them) and was pretty surprised when I fell into a floor that had been opened up (it was a raised tile floor).

Now, OK I should have been paying attention, granted. However, our lab policies stated that anytime a floor tile is going to be open and unsupervised, cones have to be placed around it and everyone in the vicinity must be informed regarding the danger. These were subcontractors who hadn’t read our policy and they had gone along opening up every third floor tile in a row.

In my case, I wasn’t injured (just a nasty bruise on my ribs) and I got an apology from our VP so I left it at that. Had I been injured, I probably would have sued for the cost of treatment, PT, etc.

I’m sorry for this girl’s misfortune. That was definitely very unpleasant.

However, the first thing that popped into my mind was, what did people do before the invention of tape and cones? I live out in the country and out here you better watch were your walking. If you don’t you very could end up walking up on a snake. This is just out in your own yard. I don’t think they should sue. It is both their and the cities fault. The city should have but up cones and she should have been paying attention.

One last thing. Aren’t woman always told to be alert to what is going on around them for safety. In a city like New York I would think that would be doubled. If she didn’t notice the manhole what else did she not notice? The would be robber or rapist coming after her?

So what if i am walking my dog and the dog gets hung on the leash and dies.

The dog would have probably done better than the teen in seeing and missing the manhole since the dog likely would not have been texting while walking.:smiley:

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