I have a degree in Civil Engineering and I am a registered Civil Engineer in the state in question here. I have done a significant amount of consulting work at water and wastewater facilities and public works facilities over the years. I have previously designed piping systems that included manholes and I have written specifications for them. I have had similar fall cases that included holes, utility covers, manholes, openings and other related fall hazards that were direct contributing factors to personal injuries including major injuries and deaths. Industry standards require that walkway surface hardware, including manhole covers, be maintained flush with the surrounding surface within the foreseeable pedestrian path. Since the municipality owns it then it would be their responsibility to comply with industry standards. The municipality’s internal operation and maintenance procedures should also be reviewed. The type, size and location of this manhole should also be evaluated regarding requirements related to usage, maintenance schedule, and inspection. Most manhole covers are cast iron and quite heavy and held in place under their own weight. Manhole covers subjected to wheel loads in roadways are usually bolted in place to prevent them from being dislodged by vehicular traffic. A dislodged manhole cover in a grassy right of way, that is not a roadway, could only occur as a negligent or intentional act unless there was a spontaneous combustion event or similar dynamic loading condition that may dislodge the cover.