OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 3, 1987
ALBERT F. WILSON, SR.
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimant seeks $157.88 for damage done to his 1980 Chevrolet truck
the result of an
incident which occurred on November 9, 1986.
The claimant testified that he was travelling south on Route 119
Elkview in the location of
the Elk Shopping Plaza. It was approximately 7:15 a.m., and he was
proceeding at a speed of
20-25 miles per hour. His automobile encountered standing water and
rock. The rock damaged
the running board of the automobile. It had been raining heavily
previously, but was not raining at
the time of this incident. He had not observed the water on prior
occasions. He estimated the
water to be six inches deep. He did not observe the rock before his
vehicle struck it, but his
vision was obstructed by the light from the shopping plaza. The
location is a straight
stretch of roadway. He did not report the defect to respondent.
The State is neither an insure nor a guarantor of the safety of
travellers on its highways. Adkins
vs. Sims, 130 W.Va. 645, 46 S.E.2d 81 (1947). For the respondent to
held liable for
damages caused by road defects of this type, the claimant must
that respondent had actual
or constructive notice of the existence of the defect and a
amount of time to correct
it. Davis vs. Dept. of Highways, 11 Ct.Cl. 150 (1976). The evidence
indicated that there as
no warning of any problems with the water and rock. The Court must,
therefore, deny the claim.