OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 12, 1986
DELTA W. HARRAH AND EVA KAY HARRAH
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant, Delta W. Harrah, appeared in person.
Andrew Lopez, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
On February 18, 1986, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the claimant was
operating his 1984
Buick Century in a westerly direction on Route 60 at the Campbells
the vehicle struck a pothole. The claimant originally filed the
his own name. The car is
titled in both claimants' names, Delta W. Harrah and that of his
Eva K. Harrah. The Court
then, upon its own motion, amended the style of the claim to
K. Harrah as a party
The claimant was travelling from his home in Fayetteville to
at a speed of
approximately 30-35 miles per hour. The impact of the pothole
the left front tire and
wheel, and required realignment of the vehicle for a total amount
$144.63. The claimant
testified that he travelled this route only occasionally. He
the hole before his vehicle
struck it. However, there were holes in both the lane in which he
proceeding and the other
lane of the two-lane road. For that reason, it was impossible to
the hole. The claimant
estimated that the pothole is "half as big as a bathtub. He stated
he had not given respondent
notice prior to this accident as that was the first time he had
"down through there for six
months or even longer."
The State is neither an insurer nor a guarantor of the safety of
motorists on the highways.
Adkins v. Sims, 130 W.Va. 645, 46 S.E.2d 81 (1947). In order for
respondent to be found
liable for the damages incurred, proof of notice., either actual or
constructive, of the defect in
question must be shown. As there was no such evidence presented,
claim must be denied.