Trinidad: Woman injured in manhole fall gets $70k compensation after suing

(Trinidad Guardian) The State has agreed to pay al­most $75,000 in com­pen­sa­tion to a woman who fell in­to a de­fec­tive man­hole in Princes Town.

Shen­ate Kim Lee, of Loth­i­ans Road, Princes Town, sued the Min­istry of Works and Trans­port af­ter the in­ci­dent near her home on Au­gust 20, 2016.

When the case came up for hear­ing be­fore Jus­tice Jacque­line Wil­son in the San Fer­nan­do High Court yes­ter­day, at­tor­neys from the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al of­fered to set­tle the claim and pay com­pen­sa­tion. Lee’s at­tor­neys, Ab­del and Shabaana Mo­hammed, ac­cept­ed. In her law­suit, which was with­drawn based on the set­tle­ment, Lee said she was walk­ing to­ward a su­per­mar­ket when her right foot went through the bro­ken con­crete man­hole cov­er.

She lost her bal­ance, twist­ed her knee and fell on her but­tocks, suf­fer­ing in­juries to her back, knees, shin and tail bone.

She claimed that the min­istry was neg­li­gent in fail­ing to main­tain the man­hole and for fail­ing to place signs warn­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic that it was de­fec­tive. In Oc­to­ber, a High Court judge ruled against the min­istry in an al­most iden­ti­cal case.

In that claim, Su­ru­j­dai Ram­per­sad sued the Min­istry and the Ch­agua­nas Bor­ough Cor­po­ra­tion af­ter she fell in­to a man­hole on the Ch­agua­nas Main Road near Ca­can­dee Road on March 11, 2015.

The Min­istry, not the Cor­po­ra­tion, was held li­able as the man­hole fell with­in its purview.

Seep­er­sad did not as­sess com­pen­sa­tion, in­stead re­fer­ring the is­sue to a High Court Mas­ter, who is still in the process of do­ing so.

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