OPINION ISSUED OCTOBER 4, 1985
KENNETH AND JANET MOUNTS
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant's daughter, Jana Lynn Mounts, appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
This claim was originally filed in the name of Jana Lynn Mounts,
but when the testimony established that the vehicle was titled in
the names of her parents, Kenneth and Janet Mounts, the Court
amended the style of the claim to reflect that fact.
On December 22, 1984, claimant's daughter, Jana Lynn Mounts, was
driving on Route 60 East near Barboursville, in Cabell County, West
Virginia, at about 8:00 p.m., when the right front wheel ran
through three potholes. Replacement of a damaged tire cost $58.60,
the amount claimed. Ms. Mounts testified that she did not see the
potholes before striking them. Ms. Mounts had no knowledge of how
long the potholes had been in existence.
The State is neither an insurer nor a guarantor of the safety of
motorists on its highways. Adkins vs. Sims, 130 W.Va. 645, 46 S.E.
2d 81 (1947). For respondent to be held liable for defects of this
type, the claimant must prove that respondent had actual or
constructive notice of the defect. As there was no evidence of
notice, the claim must be denied.