NEW LEXINGTON – A Crooksville man who sued the village and a construction contractor, for injuries he claims he suffered after stepping into a hole on the street, has reported that he has been unable to find any representative of the construction firm to serve with notice of the suit.

Plaintiff Rocky Chevalier, Jr., filed his lawsuit in Perry County Common Pleas Court in April. The complaint alleges that in April 2019, Chevalier was walking along North Buckeye Street in Crooksville, and “was injured when he got his foot caught in a hollowed out area of the street which had been left without warning or proper precaution being taken to protect members of the public from injury.”

At the time of the incident, the lawsuit says, a New Concord, Ohio, company called Freedom Construction Enterprises, or an unidentified “John Doe” defendant, was doing construction work on the street, laying new water pipes.

Chevalier claims the company was negligent in doing its work, and should have posted warning signs to alert the public to the hazardous conditions.

The village is included as a defendant for allegedly failing to maintain a public street in a hazard-free condition.

The village has answered Chevalier’s lawsuit, arguing among other points that it has immunity from liability as a political subdivision. It has asked Judge Tina Boyer to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it could not be re-filed, and to award the village court costs and legal fees.

Freedom Construction has not filed its own answer, and in an affidavit filed Aug. 27 with the court, Chevalier’s attorney reports that the construction company’s statutory agent has resigned, and according to records of the Ohio Secretary of State, the firm has not maintained an agent.

The affidavit says the most recent address for Freedom Construction is in New Concord, Ohio, but that “attempts to serve (the court papers) at that address were unsuccessful and they appear not to be at that location any longer.” The attorney adds that he has hired an investigator who has been unable to find a new address for the company.

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