Skateboarder Sues Utility Over Manhole Branding
NEW YORK (AP) — A woman who was branded with letters from the Consolidated Edison logo when she fell off a skateboard onto a searing hot manhole cover in Manhattan last year filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking unspecified damages from the utility.
Elizabeth C. Wallenberg, 27, was burned just above her buttocks and on her left arm when she fell off her skateboard onto a cover over a steam pipe at Second Avenue and 13th Street in the East Village shortly after midnight on Aug. 11, 2004, said her lawyer Ronald Berman.
"It literally looked like a brand that had been applied by someone," Berman said about the burn marks left on Wallenberg's body.
He said she was treated for the injury in the Beth Israel Hospital (search) emergency room and released.
Wallenberg, then a Brooklyn resident who worked for Paper magazine, reportedly said she heard her skin sizzle and saw an "o" and an "n" from the hot cover impressed upon her body. Wallenberg has been told the scarring is permanent, Berman said.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, accused Con Ed of "negligence, carelessness, recklessness and culpable conduct" related to Wallenberg's injuries.
Court papers said Wallenberg, now a factory worker who lives in Portland, Ore., is entitled to compensatory and punitive damages because of Con Ed's "reprehensible and egregious failure and refusal ... to protect the public from this manifestly clear and present danger."
Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert said he had no comment on the lawsuit