CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman walking to the train, fell into a manhole, got hurt and filed a claim with the city to help pay her medical bills, but was denied.
Latanya Jackson was walking along a grassy area near 59th Street and Stony Island Avenue in Hyde Park when she not only lost her footing, she ended up in a manhole.
“As I flipped—bang, bang!–and immediately my arms came up,” she told CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar.
Jackson said she was on her way to catch a Metra train to her job in June. She ended up in a sling and then went on a personal crusade for change.
“Here’s the manhole I fell into and you see it’s still open,” Jackson said on an Instagram video she posted after the accident. “I called the city this morning and they still haven’t come to secure this hole.”
She took countless pictures, filed reports with 311 and Chicago Police. Jackson even documented the time it took to fix the hole after she first notified the city—60 days.
She filed a claim with the city–an attempt to re-coop some money for her injuries.
“For me it was like a personal journey to make sure nobody else gets hurt,” she told CBS 2.
But Jackson’s claim was recently denied. She won’t see a dollar from her fall.
“Opening up that letter and them saying, ‘Your life means nothing, too bad, so sad,’ ” she said.
Here’s the problem: Jackson was the first person to report the manhole, meaning the city had no way of knowing there was an issue. That gets the city off the hook.
“So if the first person falls in they will never get restitution because nobody else has reported it. These manholes need to be secured, that negligence doesn’t fall on me.”
Even though the city denied the claim, Jackson can still pursue other legal options to try and get her bills paid.