Randall L. Veneri, Attorney at Law, for claimant.
Robert D. Pollitt and John Polak, Assistant Attorneys General, for


Claimant, in her capacity as Chairman of the Business Education
Department at Watoga High
School, was attending a competition for Future Business Leaders of
America on April 24, 1982.
She had accompanied a number of students to West Virginia Tech in
Montgomery. The
competition was a single-day function, and claimant was compensated for
her attendance in her
capacity as a grader for a Shorthand II Competition. According to the
testimony of claimant, it
was a sunny day and normal sediment only covered the sidewalk. At
approximately 1:00 p.m.,
claimant, accompanied by four students, travelled upon a sidewalk on
campus from the student
center where they had eaten lunch to another area of the campus. Sandra
Moye was walking
with Lisa Corner approximately five feet in front of claimant. Gaylon
Akers was walking behind
those two, and Michelle Akel was walking across from claimant on the
lower side of the
sidewalk. Claimant fell and fractured her left ankle. Claimant alleges
that this section of the
walkway was improperly maintained and is therefore unsafe. She seeks
damages in the amount
of $100,000.00 for pain and suffering.

The testimony revealed that claimant incurred medical expenses as a
result of this accident.
She did not have to expend any money for these bills. Claimant's
insurance carrier covered her
medical costs. Worker's Compensation reimbursed claimant's insurance
carrier. In addition,
claimant received temporary total disability benefits and a 2% permanent
partial disability award
from Worker's Compensation.

Claimant testified that the two sections of sidewalk were of uneven
levels, and this fact caused
her fall. There was a space between two sections of sidewalk. Claimant
was walking on the right
side or higher level of the sidewalk parallel to the space between the
two sections of the
sidewalk. It was estimated that one section of the sidewalk was
approximately one inch higher
than the other section.

The Court finds that respondent failed to maintain the sidewalk in a
proper manner. However,
it appears that the claimant herself was negligent in failing to
maintain an adequate lookout upon
the sidewalk where she was walking. Under the doctrine of comparative
negligence, the Court is
of the opinion that the negligence of the claimant was equal to or
greater than the respondent's
and disallows claim.

Claim disallowed.