IN THE LEGISLATIVE CLAIMS COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
DEREK E. BALL
WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION,
DIVISION OF HGHWAYS
Claimant appeared pro se.
Chad M. Cardinal, Attorney at Law, for the Respondent.
The Claimant brought this action alleging that the negligence of the Respondent was the cause of damage sustained to his vehicle.
The Claimant and the Respondent, through its counsel, appeared for a hearing before the Legislative Claims Commission on April 3, 2019.
On July 29, 2018, the Claimant was driving his 2018 Ram 3500 on Fudges Creek Road near Ona, Cabell County, when his vehicle struck a large metal warning sign at the edge of the white line of the roadway. The Claimant testified that the sign was situated in the ground so that it extended outwards into the traveling portion of the roadway. The impact of striking the sign knocked the passenger side mirror off of his vehicle. The Claimant submitted several photographs of the sign and the roadway where the sign was installed. He testified that the mirror was factory installed and he had not adjusted it in any way. His vehicle sustained damages in the sum of $713.93; his collision insurance required a deductible of $500.00.
The Respondent denied the validity of the claim in its pleadings and at the hearing. The Respondent also submitted photographic evidence of the sign in question and argued that it was not responsible for the Claimant’s damages.
After duly considering the facts, the testimony and the exhibits submitted in this claim, including the photographs which depicted the placement of the warning sign within a portion of broken and crumbling pavement that included part of the white line of the roadway adjacent to an area where significant slippage had occurred, the Legislative Claims Commission hereby finds that the Respondent, Division of Highways, was negligent in its maintenance of Fudges Creek Road near Ona, Cabell County, on the date of this incident and that the negligence of the Respondent was a proximate cause of the damages sustained by the Claimant.
In view of the foregoing, it is the recommendation and opinion of the Legislative Claims Commission that the Claimant should be awarded the sum of $500.00 in this claim.
Award of $500.00.