OPINION ISSUED JULY 8, 1987
GREGORY S. HUFFMAN AND ALICIA HUFFMAN
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant Gregory S. Huffman appeared in person.
Andrew Lopez, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
This claim was originally styled solely in the name of Gregory S.
Huffman, but when the
testimony indicated that the vehicle, a 1985 Ford Escort, was
the names of Gregory S.
Huffman and Alicia Huffman, the Court, on its own motion, amended
style of the claim to
reflect that fact.
Claimant Gregory Huffman testified that he was operating the
March 2, 1986, on
Route 114 travelling toward Charleston, when the vehicle struck a
pothole. He stated that the
incident occurred at approximately 8:00 p.m., and visibility wa
to rain. He was
travelling at approximately 35 miles per hour. As a result of the
incident, a beauty ring and a
wheel were damaged in the amount of $73.20
Claimant Gregory Huffman testified that he was familiar with this
section of roadway as he had
driven it every day for 13 years. He further stated that the hole
approximately 2 1/2 feet in
diameter, and 12 to 16 inches deep. He stated, in reference to this
hole, "It had been patched. I
can only guess that the rain and the traffic over it had caused the
patching material to come out
os the hole."
The evidence in this record indicates that the defective condition
the pavement appeared
suddenly and that the respondent had previously repaired the hole. Moore
vs. Department of
Highways, CC-85-153 (February 19, 1986). Adkins vs. Sims, 130 W.Va.
46 S.E.2d 81
(1947), holds that the State is neither an insurer nor a guarantor
the safety of the motorists on
its highways. The Court is of the opinion that negligence on the
the respondent has not
been established, and therefore, the Court denies the claim.