OPINION ISSUED JUNE 29, 2001
MARY KATHERINE (LEE) O'NEAL
DIVISION OF HIGHWAYS
Greg K. Smith, Attorney at Law, for claimant.
Andrew F. Tarr, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
This claim was submitted to the Court for decision upon a
Stipulation entered into
by claimant and respondent wherein certain facts and circumstances
of the claim were agreed to as follows:
1. On September 2, 1997, claimant Mary Katherine (Lee) O'Neal
was walking on U.S. Route 52 near Williamson in Mingo County. She
planned to enter the downtown area of Williamson by and through the
Pike Street underpass.
2. While claimant was walking on U.S. Route 52, she stepped
into a large hole and suffered injuries to her right foot.
3. Respondent is responsible for the maintenance of the
portion of U.S. Route 52 in or near Williamson, Mingo County, where
claimant was injured.
4. Respondent concedes that it had at least constructive
notice that the portion of U.S. Route 52 where claimant was injured
was in a state of disrepair at the time of claimant's injury and
that there is a moral obligation on its part to provide some
compensation to the claimant for her injuries.
5. As a result of this incident, claimant brought this action
to recover damages in the amount of $20,000.00. However, claimant
has agreed to settle and relinquish this claim against respondent
for the amount of $3,000.00. Respondent agrees that the amount of
damages as put forth by claimant is fair and reasonable.
The Court has reviewed the facts of this claim as stated in
the stipulation, and adopts the statements of facts as its own.
The Court finds that respondent was negligent in its maintenance of
a portion of U.S. Route 52 in or near Williamson on the date of
claimant's incident; that the negligence of respondent was the
proximate cause of the injuries suffered by claimant; and that the
amount of the damages agreed to by the parties is fair and
Accordingly, the Court is of the opinion to and does make an
award to the claimant in the amount of $3,000.00.
Award of $3,000.00.