OPINION ISSUED FEBRUARY 14, 1989
VELMA D. LAYNE, III AND ROBBIE LAYNE
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant, Velma D. Layne, III, appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimants seek $20,000.00 for damages to real property resulting
water drainage on the
property. After it was determined that the property is titled in
names of claimant and his wife,
the Court amended the style of the claim to reflect that fact.
Claimant Velma Layne testified that his property is located on
Woodville Drive, a
State-maintained road. Sometime after his house was built in the
part of 1985, a
campground was installed near claimants' property. There was also
secondary road located at
the intersection of the two campground roads. Claimant alleges that
respondent constructed a
bank adjacent to the road leading to the entrance and exit of the
campground. Water from all
three roads was then discharged directly onto claimants' property.
Claimants contend that the
damage to their property was caused by this action on the part of
Respondent contends that one of the reasons for the damages to
claimants' property is the
construction of the campground road by a private party. Respondent
claimants' property is in a low-lying, natural drainage area. The
drainage from the surrounding
area drains onto claimants' property.
Claimant Velma Layne testified that very soon after he built his
in January 1984, the
campground was built. Claimants' property fronts on Woodville Drive. The
culvert which goes
underneath Woodville Drive has remained open during the time that
his wife have resided
on the property. Claimants experienced no problems with water until
construction of the
campground and the campground roadway. Water began to wash away
driveway, and claimants have incurred the expense of replacing the
gravel. The water has also
caused the center of claimants' garage floor to settle in the
There is a depression of three
inches in the concrete floor. Claimants have had to place three
loads of gravel at a cost of
$300.00 due to the drainage problem. Claimant Velma D. Layne, III
not provide an estimate
for the cost of repair of the garage floor. He did agree that it
be beneficial to construct a
concrete catch basin across the top of the driveway to divert the
He plans to construct
this basin at some future date, but he had not constructed the
of the date of this hearing.
Claude C. Blake, Chief Claim's Investigator for respondent,
regarding his investigation
of claimants' property. He stated that he had seen the property
times. He did not observe
claimants' property during rain.
Thomas Footo, Design Engineer for respondent, testified that he is
familiar with the Layne
property. After he inspected the property, he was unable to
anything that could be the
cause of the drainage problem. In his opinion, claimants' lot was
graded to facilitate drainage
away from the house.
John Sammons, Area Maintenance Assistant for respondent in Cabell and
Lincoln counties in
1984 through 1986, discussed the Layne property. He checked the
drainpipes on the State-maintained roads and found that these were
and providing the
James Campbell, District Engineer for respondent, stated that he
not familiar with
claimants' property, but had viewed it recently. He stated that
are no provisions for
drainage on the claimants' house. This fact adversely affects the
drainage at the base of the house.
It is the opinion of the Court that claimants' damage is the
construction of the
campground road by a third party and the location of the claimants'
property in a natural
drainage area without provision for protection from such drainage.
Court finds no
negligence on the part of the respondent. Accordingly, the claim