Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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Town being sued for injuries and vehicle damage allegedly caused by faulty manhole cover after hurricane

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An Alamance County man is suing the town of Haw River for vehicle damage and medical expenses that he alleges were caused by a faulty manhole cover along Lang Street, which is within the town’s municipal limits.

In his suit, Jeffrey Lee Horner asserts had been driving along Lang Street around 7:21 a.m. on Monday, September 17, 2018, when his right front tire ran over a manhole with an unsecured cover, causing his steering wheel to turn hard and injuring his left arm and shoulder.

At the time, Horner had been watching as the Haw River overflowed its banks and flooded the town’s roads, according to the lawsuit he has filed in Alamance County civil superior court.

The flooding in Haw River occurred when the outer bands of Hurricane Florence passed over the area, after making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Wrightsville Beach three days earlier, during the overnight hours of September 14, 2018, based on National Weather Service reports.

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Horner alleges that the town was negligent in its duty to inspect and maintain the manhole cover. The town, he contends, had waived its governmental immunity from liability by purchasing an insurance policy prior to the alleged incident.

Horner is seeking more than $25,000 in damages for his alleged injuries and subsequent medical expenses; pain and suffering; discomfort; and permanent injury, as well as court costs and pre-judgment interest. He being represented by Graham attorneys Robert C. Giles, II and C. Douglas (“Doug”) Green. The court file lists Horner’s address in the care of the law firm, at 110B South Maple Street in Graham.

The town of Haw River is being represented by William Hill of the Frazier Hill & Fury law firm in Greensboro, according to a notice of appearance that was filed in superior court two weeks ago. The town had not filed a response by press time.

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