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West Virginia Court of Claims

Volume Number: 29
Opinion Issued February 14, 2013
     Nicola Smith, Attorney at Law, for Claimants.
     Andrew F. Tarr, Attorney at Law, for Respondent.
      This claim was submitted to the Court for decision upon a Stipulation entered into by Claimants and Respondent wherein certain facts and circumstances of the claim were agreed to as follows:
      1. Respondent is responsible for the maintenance of West Virginia County Route 707 in or near the City of Bridgeport, which is located in Harrison County, West Virginia.
      2. Claimants allege that a ten (10) foot diameter drainage culvert maintained by Respondent that ran underneath County Route 707 collapsed prior to heavy rains that affected Harrison County on June 4, 2008. According to the Claimants, the collapse of the culvert under County Route 707 resulted in the flooding of the basement of Claimants’ residence on June 4, 2008.
      3. The flooding damaged Claimants’ fully furnished basement and resulted in the loss of various items of personal property belonging to the Claimants.
      4. A contractor estimate provided by Claimants indicates that the cost to repair the damage to Claimants’ property is Sixty-Seven Thousand One Hundred Fifty-Three Dollars ($67,153.00).
      5. Claimants have received Twenty-Three Thousand Fifty Dollars and Fifty-Four Cents ($23,050.54) from Nationwide Insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as partial compensation for their damages.
      6. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this claim and for purposes of settlement of said claim, Respondent does not dispute the allegations contained in Paragraph 2 of this stipulation.
      7. Both the Claimants and Respondent agree that in this particular incident and under these particular circumstances that an award of Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000.00) would be a fair and reasonable amount to settle this claim.
      8. The parties to this claim agree that the total sum of Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000.00) to be paid by Respondent to the Claimants in Claim No. CC-10-0388 will be a full and complete settlement, compromise and resolution of all matters in controversy in said claim and full and complete satisfaction of any and all past and future claims Claimants may have against Respondent arising from the matters described in said claim.
      The Court has reviewed the facts of the claim and finds that Respondent was negligent in its maintenance of County Route 707 on the date of this incident; that the negligence of Respondent was the proximate cause of the damages sustained to Claimants’ property; and that the amount of damages agreed to by the parties is fair and reasonable. Thus, Claimants may make a recovery for their loss.
      It is the opinion of the Court of Claims that Claimants should be awarded the sum of $40,000.00 on this claim.
      Award of $40,000.00.

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