OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 12, 1986
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
On November 11, 1985, between approximately 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.,
claimant was driving her
1980 Ford Pinto on Great Teays Boulevard, from Milton, Cabell
when her vehicle
struck a pothole. Claimant had been travelling on Route 34 and had
turned left onto Great Teays
Boulevard. Both the front and rear tires were damaged in the total
amount of $118.38. Claimant
was not aware of the existence of this particular pothole, but
that there were always holes
in this road. The pothole measured approximately four feet long,
feet wide, and 24 inches
Claimant testified that Great Teays Boulevard is a two-lane,
road. On the night of this
incident, it was misty and raining. She was travelling at
10-15 miles per hour. The
left front and left rear tires of claimant's vehicle struck the
Claimant had not driven this
route for a month before the accident.
While the State does not insure the safety of travellers on its
highways, respondent does owe a
duty of reasonable care and diligence in the maintenance of the
highways. This Court has
previously held respondent liable for damages caused by large
where it has been
determined that respondent should have discovered and repaired the
defect. Bailey v. Dept. of
Highways, 13 Ct.Cl. 144 (1980). Burbridge v. Dept. of Highways, 15
Ct.Cl.. 190 (1984). The
Court finds that this pothole was of sufficient size that it must
been there for some time, and
makes an award to claimant.
Award of $118.38.