OPINION ISSUED MAY 3, 1988
LEONARD W. SPANGLER, JR.
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in his own behalf.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimant brought this action to recover for personal injuries and
property damage to his
truck. On November 19, 1986, at approximately 6:00 a.m., claimant
operating his truck on
U.S. Route 35 near Shawnee Estates when he came upon an area of the
highway covered with
water. He was travelling at approximately 55 miles per hour when
truck went into the water.
The truck spun out of control, slipped on its side, and struck a
pole. Claimant alleges that
respondent was negligent in failing to place warning signs that
water was present on the
Keith Arnold Midkiff testified that he watched claimant's accident
it occurred. He stated
that he had observed high water at this location on previous
He also testified that he
spoke with employees of the respondent concerning the water problem
during the ten years he lived at his location adjacent to the
He further stated that it had
been raining all night previous to the accident. He described the
highway as "relatively level" at
the location of the incident. He also described the drainage in the
area. He stated that he had
discussed drainage problems in the area with employees of the
and was told that the
method to correct any problem was too expensive. These
took place about two
years or more prior to the occurrence of this claim.
Claimant explained that the damages to the truck were paid by his
insurance as were his
medical bills. He paid $250.00 as his deductible and also lost a
for the truck valued at
$600.00. Claimant's insurance company, American National, requested
it for amounts which it has paid on his behalf. This the Court
do. The insurance company
is not a party to this claim. Claimant may receive only those
losses which he sustained.
A review of the evidence reveals that another individual, Monica
Jividen, also experienced
problems with the high water at the location of claimant's accident
approximately 5:00 a.m.
See: Jividen vs. Dept. of Highways, issued by this Court on August
1987. The Court held
that the respondent did not have notice of the hazardous water
on U.S. Route 35 and
denied an award to the claimant. Similarly, the claimant before the
Court herein has not
established that respondent had adequate notice of the high water
place warning signs.
Claimant stated that he had, in fact, traversed this same place in
highway at 1:00 p.m. on the
day of the accident and did not experience any problems with high
Claimant failed to
establish that respondent had actual or constructive notice of the
water on the highway on
this occasion. For this reason, the Court is of the opinion to and
deny this claim.