(CBS) — One second a woman is walking down a south side street. The next, she’s down in a hole in severe pain.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.
“I’m walking and we’re talking, and I’m not looking at the ground and all of a sudden, I disappeared into the ground,” Joan Emerson says.
She says she stepped on a piece of plywood Sunday morning, in the Gap neighborhood. It had been covering a square open hole in the sidewalk near 35th and Giles.
“The plywood had been down there for about two years, it was all warped. It rotted obviously because it gave way. Because I did not step on the center, I just stepped on the side,” she says.
Emerson not only injured her knee, but medical records she showed CBS 2 says she also suffered two fractured ribs.
So, who is responsible for making sure the hole, which now has a new piece of wood on it, is covered?
CBS 2 checked with Ward 4 Ald. Will Burns’ office. A spokesperson referred us to the Department of Water Management, which said a nearby KFC is responsible for covering the hole.
In Chicago, businesses are responsible for the water and sewer lines from the mains in the street into the businesses. This includes all vaults, meters, traps and service lines for water and sewer service, according to a Water Department spokesperson.
City crews barricaded the area for the owner the next day, informing the owner of their responsibility to do the same. The business has 10 days to repair the hole or water will be shut off, the department said.
Emerson says she’s considering filing a lawsuit.