OPINION ISSUED OCTOBER 1, 1986
DELILAH LYNN CHAPMAN
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
W. Jack Stevens, Attorney at Law, for claimant.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
On March 7, 1984, the claimant, accompanied by her son, Chad, was
operating a Ford
pickup truck, owned by her husband, and was travelling southbound
Logan, on Route
10, when the vehicle struck a hole in the road. Claimant seeks an
of $25,000.00 for
personal injury and medical expenses.
Claimant testified that she was operating her vehicle and
Columbia Gas truck which
turned off of the main road. She stopped her vehicle when the truck
slowed to make the turn.
Claimant then proceeded approximately two tenths of a mile further
her truck struck a hole
in the road. Claimant's vehicle was between Branchland and Midkiff,
Lincoln County. She was
travelling at a rate of approximately 45 miles per hour. It was
cold, and there was ice
present. Claimant estimated the hole to be 12 feet long, 5 feet
and between 8 1/2 - 9
inches deep. She stated that at the time of this incident, she had
travelling this route every
day and had observed the hole. It had been in existence for a
Kyle McComas, who lives within 100 yards of the hole testified
father erected a sign
to warn people of this hole. Although Mr. McComas could not supply the
Court with a specific
date, he felt that the sign went up in January or February, 1984.
McComas' father lives
"straight across from the hole." The sign was parallel with the
and directly across from
claimant's vehicle in the northbound lane. This witness testified
the hole was repaired on
several occasions by respondent in the months of January, February,
March, 1984. Mr.
McComas' father removed the sign when the hole was fixed by
"but not always." On
the day of claimant's accident, the sign was not in place.
Deward Adkins, Assistant County Maintenance Superintendent with
respondent, testified that
he was familiar with the hole in question. He stated that, prior to
date of this incident, the hole
had been patched with "cold mix patch." He estimated that repairs
done on this hole "three
or four times" between January 1, 1984 and March 7, 1984.
James Roberts, Maintenance Assistant, District 2, for respondent,
testified that "quite a bit of
patching" with both hot and cold mix was performed on the holes on
10 in January,
February, and March, 1984. The length of Route 10, as it proceeds
through Lincoln County, is
30 miles. He indicated that his records could not show whether a
particular hole on Route 10
had been repaired. He checked the
records of District 2 and learned that no complaints had been made
around the particular time
of this accident.
The evidence in the record reveals that respondent performed
maintenance on the holes in this
area of Route 10, Lincoln County. Respondent repaired road defects
became aware of
them. Moore v. Dept. of Highways, CC-85-153 (1986). In the winter months
of 1984, patching
of the holes was done not once, but several times. Respondent
notice that this particular
hole on Route 10 required maintenance at the time of this incident.
Court is of the opinion
that negligence on the part of the respondent has not been
and, therefore, the Court
denies the claim.