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The Dripby Mark Reutter6:00 pmDec 19, 20160

Man who fell into uncovered manhole awarded $80,000

Another $40,000 settlement to a Hampden women roughed up by police

Above: A lid-less manhole pictured in a guide about the hazards of traveling in rural China. (downtrend.com)

Robert Graulich was walking to his Morrell Park home, carrying groceries, on a winter evening when he encountered a group of people blocking the sidewalk while waiting for an MTA bus.

Skirting around the group, he ventured onto a grassy lot owned by the city. He made it only a few steps before falling into an uncovered manhole.

The accident on December 13, 2012 left him pinned to his chest in the manhole near the corner of Washington Blvd. and Breitwert Avenue.

Despite surgery and $45,000 in medical bills, he sustained permanent impairment to his legs.

On Wednesday, the Board of Estimates will pay Graulich $80,000 in return for the dismissal of his lawsuit against the city, according to the board’s agenda.

The board is also set to pay $40,000 to a Hampden woman who said she and her son were knocked to the ground by police, who broke through her front door and arrested her as a result of a dispute over an unpaid taxicab fare.

Kelly Warner Jeffra filed suit against Officer Scott A. Dickson and Sgt. Conrad W. Hendrichs for alleged battery and false arrest arising from the October 28, 2012 incident on Falls Road.

The officers alleged that Jeffra slammed the door on the hand of one of the officers. (Dickson is no longer a police officer, according to on-line city records.)

The city will settle the dispute to avoid “the expense, time and uncertainties of further protracted litigation,” according to the law department. As part of the settlement, Jeffra must agree not to discuss her case with the press or on social media.

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