OPINION ISSUED NOVEMBER 19, 1985
TOMMY C. MILLER
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
On December 26, 1984, the claimant was driving his 1985 Dodge Ram
pickup truck on Route 85 on Bull Creek Mountain, Boone County, when
the truck hit a pothole. The truck sustained damages to the tires
and tire rims in the amount of $216.55. The claimant testified that
he estimated the pothole to be 10 to 12 inches deep, 10 to 14
inches wide, and two feet long. He had travelled the same route a
week prior to the accident, but had not observed the pothole at
While the respondent is not an insurer of the safety of motorists
using the highways of the State, it does have the affirmative duty
of using reasonable care for their safety. Although there was no
direct evidence that the respondent had actual knowledge of the
existence of this defect, the Court is of the opinion that it did
have constructive notice. The size of the pothole is indicative of
its presence for a substantial period of time prior to the date of
this incident. See Stone v. Dept. of Highways, 12 Ct.Cl. 259
(1979). The Court hereby makes an award to the claimants in the
amount of $216.55.
Award of $216.55.