Claimant appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.


Claimants seeks $1,212.15 for damages arising out of an automobile
accident which occurred
on February 11, 1987. The Court, with the approval of the claimant,
amended the style of the
claim to reflect the Department of Highways as the proper party

On that day, the claimant was driving his 1971 Chevrolet pickup in a
southerly direction on
Route 119 on the north side of Mink Shoals. Two rocks fell in front of
his vehicle, and the
vehicle struck the larger of the two rocks. The automobile was totalled.
It was dry and clear at
the time of this incident, but it was not yet daylight, since the
incident occurred at 5:30 a.m.
Route 119 is a two-lane, blacktop highway. The claimant was travelling
at between 45 and 50
miles per hour. The two rocks were in the process of falling from the
hill when the claimant first
observed them. One rock came down in front of his automobile, and the
automobile struck it.
The claimant's injuries required a trip to the emergency room. Claimant
had been travelling this
route for four years but had not encountered rocks at this location in
the past.

Calvert L. Mitchell, Assistant Supervisor for Kanawha County, for
respondent, testified that
he was aware of the rock fall in the vicinity of Mink Shoals exit on
Route 119 sough, on
February 11, 1987. He did receive a telephone call after 5:30 a.m. about
this particular incident.
He stated that they have had falling rocks there from time to time.
However, he was not aware of
the rock at the site of the accident before the telephone call of
February 11, 1987.

Nelson L. Fowler, Maintenance Assistant for Kanawha County, for
respondent, testified that
he was aware of the situation which is the subject of this claim. He
resides in the area where the
accident occurred. Respondent was notified shortly after the rock fall
on February 11, 1987,
and a crew was dispatched to the scene shortly thereafter. The daily
inspector reports showed
that no notice was given to respondent immediately prior to February 11,

The evidence in this record indicates that the dangerous condition
appeared suddenly and that
the respondent promptly moved to take safety precautions as soon as it
became aware of the
problem. Barnhart vs. Dept. of Highways, 12 Ct.Cl. 236 (1979). Adkins
vs. Sims, 130
W.Va. 645, 46 S.E.2d 81 (1947), holds that the State is neither an
insurer nor a guarantor of
the safety of the motorists on its highways. The Court is of the opinion
that negligence on the part
of the respondent has not been established, and, therefore, the Court
denies this claim.

Claim disallowed.