City of Arlington Changes Policy After Verdict in Manhole Cover Case
Throughout the case, the City denied responsibility for what occurred, but the jury sided with the plaintiff and awarded her compensation.
In January 2015, Shelly Caram suffered a serious straddle injury from stepping on a manhole cover in her front yard that did not fit correctly. After spending five days in the intensive care unit, she went through months of recovery before regaining mobility.
The Caram family hired Zinda Law Group to seek compensation for their injuries from the City and to advocate for a change in the City's inspection policy. The personal injury firm spent three and a half years litigating against the City, which culminated in a favorable jury verdict at trial.
This case prompted the City to change its policy for how it inspects manholes and storm water drains. Under the previous policy, the City's Storm Water Department only required its inspectors to visually inspect the City's 15,000 storm water inlets for debris.
The City now requires its inspectors to look for structural defects, like manhole covers that do not fit, when inspecting storm water drains.
Burgess Williams, who served as lead trial counsel for the Caram Family, commented on the verdict: "I am proud of our clients for persevering for three and a half years to send a message to the government that it must do its job to keep its citizens safe. The community is safer because of the sacrifice our clients made to tell their story."
Following the case, the firm's founder and CEO, Jack Zinda, stated, "Our firm was just happy to be involved in a case where we could make a difference in the safety and well-being of Arlington residents and all Texans. Just because you're a government agency doesn't mean you can shirk your responsibility to provide a safe environment for your citizens."
Zinda Law Group is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm with offices across Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Visit https://www.zdfirm.com for more information.
Zinda Law Group, PLLC