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Family of woman killed by flying manhole cover seeks damages

Manhole covers are one of the most unobtrusive and least visible elements of highway construction, but even these heavy disks can pose a deadly hazard if they are not properly maintained. The father and brother of a Milton art teacher recently commenced a law suit to recover wrongful death damages based on the failure to properly inspect and maintain manhole covers on I-93.

The woman was on her way to work when an SUV traveling ahead of her dislodged a manhole cover. The manhole cover weighed about 200 pounds, and it struck the victim's car's windshield. The cover hit the woman in the head and then smashed through the rear window. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The lawsuit names the state of Massachusetts, AECOM Technology Corp., and Green International Affiliates as defendants. AECOM and Green International were hired by the state to inspect portions of the I-93 Central Corridor.

The complaint alleges that the two consultants were grossly negligent in failing to thoroughly inspect the highway. The manhole cover that killed the victim is alleged to have been severely deteriorated and posed a danger to the traveling public. According to the family's attorney, AECOM records show that the manhole covers in the stretch where the accident occurred had been inspected and that they were declared to be in a nearly new condition. The complaint alleges that the inspections were either not conducted or were conducted in a grossly negligent manner. The family is seeking wrongful death damages from the defendants.

Anyone who has lost a loved one in a car accident may wish to look into the possibility of recovering damages caused by loss of income and loss of companionship.

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