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Expensive repair for the damage: Local resident wants reimbursement after having his vehicle damaged on a busy Omaha street

OMAHA, Nebraska – A ordinary drive on a busy roadway in Omaha abruptly comes to a surprising and costly halt.

However, the driver noticed he had not struck a pothole.

In May, when driving his Jeep Cherokee over a manhole, Larry Goldstrom never anticipated the top to pop.

“Bam, the loudest bang I’ve ever heard. My tire blew the rim was bent you saw the picture. So I limped over to the parking area over there and I came back and saw this open manhole cover and steal manhole lying next to it,” said Goldstrom.

Larry states that two spectators reattached the hefty cover, but a short time later, another vehicle popped it off again, revealing a malfunctioning Omaha city manhole.

“I want them to pay for a new tire, a new rim, and all the suspension work underneath,” said Goldstrom.

However, his claim for damages filed with the city of Omaha was refused.

An assistant city attorney states that there is no indication that a city employee’s negligence or omission caused the cover to become unfastened. Therefore, state law does not hold the city liable, and similar to potholes, the city is not liable if public works was unaware of the unsecured manhole cover before to the accident.

But while checking his images immediately after the accident, Larry notices that the manhole had been patched.

“They worked on it to reinforce it proving it was a problem they already knew about,” said Goldstrom.

Larry incurred $1,600 in repair costs.

Larry says he will continue to pursue restitution from the city for damage to his vehicle, which he claims was caused by a manhole and not a pothole.

Cost of repairs cases are heard in small claims court.

“Go before a judge I feel pretty confident with the evidence I have,” said Goldstrom.

Larry Goldstrom is adamant about proving the city is responsible for the manhole damage to his vehicle and will not keep his claim under wraps.

“I think about that $1,600 every time I come up Farnam and I make sure I dodge that thing,” said Goldstrom.

The assistant city attorney states that immediately following the accident, public works found all manhole covers in the area to be secure, and there is no record of any additional repair work being performed on the manhole cover that was damaged.

Wednesday, a city investigator is due to come back on the driver’s assertion that the patchwork around the manhole is evidence that the city knew it had a problem.

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