OPINION ISSUED FEBRUARY 14, 1989
RALPH W. MASTER, JR.
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimant was travelling in his 1973 pickup truck on U.S. 50, which
also known as Main
Street, in Grafton, when his vehicle struck a hole. Claimant seeks
$279.03 for the repair the
automobile required as a result of this incident.
Claimant testified that on the day in question it was about 6:30
and dark and raining. He
was travelling east at approximately 25 to 30 miles per hour. The
highway is a two-lane, black
top road. He was travelling from his home to his place of
The hole was located in
front of the left wheel and was almost in the center of the road.
claimant's automobile also pulled off with a flat tire. Claimant
flat tire, damage to the rim
of the wheel, and the truck was out of alignment. Claimant stated
he had travelled the same
route on the previous morning and the hole which the truck hit was
present at that time.
The law of West Virginia is well established that the State
insures nor guarantees the
safety of motorists on its highways. Adkins vs. Sims, 130 W.Va.
S.E.2d 81 (1947).
For the respondent to be found liable for damages caused by road
of this type, the
claimants must prove that the respondent had actual or constructive
notice of the defect and a
reasonable amount of time to take corrective action. Davis vs.
Highways, 12 Ct.Cl.
31 (1977); Hoskins vs. Dept. of Highways, 12 Ct.Cl. 60 (1977);
Highways, 13 Ct.Cl. 310 (1980). As there was no such evidence
the claim must be