OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 6, 1999
RICHARD J. GANNON, SR., & MARY ELLEN GANNON
DIVISION OF HIGHWAYS
Claimants appeared pro se.
Xueyan Zhang, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimants brought this action for vehicle damage which
occurred as a result of claimants' vehicle striking a piece of
concrete curb while claimants' son was driving their vehicle
westbound on W.Va. Route 60 in Kenova, Wayne County. W.Va. Route
60 is a road maintained by respondent in Wayne County. The Court
is of the opinion to deny this claim for the reasons more fully
The incident giving rise to this claim occurred on August 21,
1998, at approximately 4:00 p.m., when claimants' son, Billy
Gannon, and a friend of his son, Chad D. Chaffin, were traveling
westbound on W.Va. Route 60 at the corner of 8th Street in Kenova,
Wayne County. W.Va. Route 60 is a four lane highway, with each
side being thirty-four feet including a distance of nine feet to
the curb. On the clear day, claimants' son and his friend were
proceeding in the right hand lane, the slow lane, at a speed of
thirty miles per hour in claimants' 1998 Ford Mustang GT.
For the past several months, there had been a piece of
concrete curb on W.Va. Route 60. This piece of concrete curb had
been along the edge of the road. However, on the day in question,
the piece of the curb was partially laying in the road, off to the
side, beyond the white line about five inches. The piece of
concrete curb was around a parking area to the right of the white
line. As claimants' son came upon the piece of concrete curb, he
was unable to maneuver the vehicle to avoid it because the traffic
on the road prevented evasive maneuvering. Claimants' vehicle
collided with the piece of the concrete curb, which twisted around
and slid under the vehicle. After the incident, claimants' vehicle
went up against the side walk. The resulting damage to claimants'
vehicle was $557.72, for a tire, rim, and repair to the rocker
panel. Claimants' collision coverage policy had a deductible
feature in the amount of $500.00.
Respondent contends that it was not responsible for the damage
to claimants' vehicle. Respondent had no record of any complaints
regarding the area of W.Va. Route 60 for which it is responsible.
Respondent's crews patrolled the location in question, but found
nothing. According to respondent, it maintains the area from curb
to curb, from the pavement of the left edge to the pavement of the
right edge. The curb is the responsibility of the city. Anything
from the curb inside to the sidewalk is maintained by the city.
The Court has determined that respondent was not negligent in
this claim. The right hand lane was wide enough for a driver
traveling at a reasonable speed to go around any object. The Court
is of the opinion that claimants' son should have been able to
maneuver the vehicle around the concrete curb. Since the Court
finds no negligence on the part of respondent, claimants may not
recover for the loss sustained to the vehicle.
In view of the foregoing, the Court is of the opinion to and
does deny this claim.