OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 12, 1986
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in person.
Andrew Lopez, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
On February 18, 1986, at approximately 8:15 a.m., the claimant was
operating her 1982
Chevrolet Cavalier in a westerly direction on Route 60 below
County, when her vehicle struck a pothole. The claimant originally
this action with the West
Virginia Court of Claims as the respondent. The Court, upon Ms.
amended the style of the claim designating the Department of
respondent. Two tires and a hubcap were damaged in the amount of
$214.47. The claimant
was unable to estimate the size of the pothole. She stated that she
not aware of the pothole
prior to striking it, even though she travelled this route five
week. The claimant testified
that the traffic was heavy as it was the morning rush hour. She was
proceeding in the right or
slow lane. Her vehicle struck the hole with the left front and rear
tires. She was travelling between
35 and 40 miles per hour. There was no way of dodging the hole
any way you moved
there was pothole."
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.