PARK SLOPE — A man who was hit in the head by an exploding manhole cover while he was walking his dog is suing Con Edison — and he's named his beloved pet as a plaintiff, according to court filings.
Salvatore Grillo, 71, says the utility is to blame for an explosion that sent a cast iron manhole cover sailing into his head on Feb. 2, 2015, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Grillo suffered permanent "serious personal injuries" from the explosion and so did his dog, a black Lab named Abby, according to the lawsuit. The dog sustained multiple wounds, including singed fur and paws, the lawsuit alleges. Abby also suffered psychological damage that left her afraid to leave home, according to the lawsuit.
The blast, at Prospect Park West and Fourth Street, sent the manhole cover about 25 feet into the air and shattered windows in a nearby apartment building.
Abby was so spooked by the eruption that she ran into Prospect Park and was found about an hour later at a pharmacy on Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue, DNAinfo New York reported in February. The dog was brought to Sean Casey Animal Rescue, which tracked down her relieved owners.
Casey told DNAinfo then that Abby's paws and nails were torn up from her run. Bloody paw pads are visible in a photo of the dog taken that day.
Grillo could not be reached immediately for comment. The firm representing him, Avanzino & Moreno, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
A spokesman for Con Ed declined to comment because the litigation is ongoing.
The Feb. 2 manhole fire in Park Slope was one of hundreds that erupted on city streets last winter, when salt in melting snow seeped underground and damaged wires, sparking the blazes.
Grillo's lawsuit claims Con Ed was negligent in part because it failed to prevent wiring from eroding, didn't install a manhole cover that "would not fly during underground vault explosions," and didn't warn the public to stay away from the potential threat.
There are 250,000 manholes in New York City, a Con Ed spokesman said. The covers are typically about 2 feet wide and can weigh up to 260 pounds, but most are lighter, the spokesman said.