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West Virginia Court of Claims

Volume Number: 29
Category(s): FLOODING
Opinion Issued January 17, 2013
TERRY J. WOODSIDE, AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF TERRY J. WOODSIDE JR.
VS.
DIVISION OF HIGHWAYS
(CC-09-0603)
     James J. Sellitti, Attorney at Law, for Claimant.
     Michael J. Folio, Attorney at Law, for Respondent.
     PER CURIAM:
     This claim was submitted to the Court for decision upon a Stipulation entered into by Claimant and Respondent wherein certain facts and circumstances of the claim were agreed to as follows:
     1. On December 13, 2007, Harrison County and the area near WV Route 131, known as Saltwell Road, experienced a widespread rain and flood event. Water had accumulated on the roadway. Respondent attempted to clear the roadway of accumulated water, but failed to clear completely water from the roadway.
     2. Respondent is responsible for the maintenance of WV Route 131 situated near and between Bridgeport and Shinnston, Harrison County.
     3. Claimant’s decedent was operating a motor vehicle in the northerly direction on WV Route 131 when he came upon accumulated water on the roadway, hydroplaned, and struck a tree.
     4. Respondent had been working in the area of the accident earlier in the day and attempted to clear a drain that was not functioning properly and causing the standing water on the road. However, Respondent was unsuccessful in its effort to correct the problem.
     5. Claimant alleges that Respondent failed to place a warning sign alerting motorists of high water at the location where Claimant’s decedent struck a tree. Respondent alleges that a warning sign was placed at the southern entrance of WV Route 131 near Bridgeport, Harrison County, just off I-79.
     6. Respondent received various communications throughout the day regarding water in the area and on the roadway.
     7. Claimant estimates that the Claimant has sustained economic losses in excess of One Million dollars ($1,000,000.00) due to the decedent’s death.
     7. Based on the parties’ investigation, the parties to this claim agree that the total sum of Two Hundred Fifty Thousand dollars ($250,000.00) to be paid by Respondent to Terry J. Woodside, Sr., as Administrator of the Estate of Terry J. Woodside, Jr., Deceased, will be a full and complete settlement of this claim.The Court has reviewed the facts of the claim and finds that the amount of the damages agreed to by the parties is fair and reasonable. Thus, the Court is of the opinion to and does make an award in the amount of $250,000.00.
     Award of $250,000.00.
Summary:
     


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