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Driver Claims A Loose Sewer Cover Caused Hundreds In Damages To His Car, Told The Repair Bill Is His

Posted at 10:57 PM, May 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-07 22:57:47-04

WYOMING, Mich. (May 7, 2014) –  Lavell McClain of Wyoming said he’s stuck paying for hundreds of dollars worth of repairs after hitting a loose manhole cover in Wyoming.

He said after learning that the city of Wyoming was not going to help foot the bill, he called the FOX 17 Problem Solvers.

According to McClain it happened while he was driving on Byron Center Avenue just north of 56th Street in Wyoming on April 18th.

“It was slightly popped up, at an angle,” said McClain referring to the sewer cover in the left lane. “It clipped my rear tire and immediately I thought something had gone wrong.  I looked in the rear-view mirror and I could see that it had been flipped up and off of the sewer drain completely.”

McClain said he knew instantly there was damage to his SUV.  He says there was another matter of concern that needed his immediate attention.

“I called 911 because I felt like someone might hit this.  Someone might get hurt.  I don’t want anything to happen and I be the reason,” he said.

Within 15-minutes of making that call he said police showed up followed by The City of Wyoming’s Department of Public Works.

“They actually said stuff like this happens, they will probably take care of you because it was a loose manhole cover and they said they were going to get that taken care of,” he said.

McClain said the damage was extensive, “It was dented in and then I felt the back and saw that it was pretty much broken through.  Since this was an aluminum rim no one can even repair that.”

That wouldn’t be the last ‘hit’ he would take, “Since the rims are discontinued, it’s like 850 bucks.”

He then said he filed a claim with The City of Wyoming.  On May first he received a letter from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority representing Wyoming.

The letter lists a different address from where McClain said the damage occurred.  It also rejected his claim stating the city requires a 30-day notice to give time to fix the problem.

“They told me I should make an insurance claim but I mean I don’t see why I should have to make a claim and my rates go up for something that they should take care of in my eyes,” he said.  “If you are driving down the street and a street light falls on your car, basically by this rule that they are quoting, you are liable.

McClain is holding on to hope that there is a solution that works for him.

On Wednesday afternoon, FOX 17 stopped by city hall and were given the standard form that one would fill out if they have a similar complaint but we were told that no one was available to answer any questions about the specific complaint.

We are in the process of contacting the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, based in Livonia, to find out why they had a different address listed on McClain’s letter which may be part of the reason the claim was denied.

FOX 17 will pass along any updates as they occur.