OPINION ISSUED APRIL 11, 1991
DIVISION OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant represents self.
James D. Terry and Glen A. Murphy, Attorneys at Law, for respondent.
Claimant brought this action to recover damage to his 1988 Ford Escort GT when the vehicle's tire
went into a drop inlet on Route 14 in Parkersburg, Wood County, on June 7, 1990. Claimant alleges
that the drop inlet was six to six and one-half inches below the road surface. It was located in the
middle of his lane of travel. The incident occurred between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on a sunny day.
Claimant replaced the damaged tire at a cost of $98.57.
Paul F. Reese, respondent's maintenance superintendent for Wood County, testified that the drop
inlet is maintained by respondent. He stated that the depth of the drop inlet is "maybe a little bit less
than three inches" and that this depth is accepted as being safe.
The Court is of the opinion that the drop inlet which is the subject matter of this claim did not pose
a hazard to the travelers on the road. As claimant failed to establish negligence on the part of the
respondent, the Court must deny this claim.