IN THE LEGISLATIVE CLAIMS COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
KAREN BUTLER AND OCIE BURGESS
WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION,
DIVISION OF HGHWAYS
Claimants appeared pro se.
Chad M. Cardinal, Attorney at Law, for the Respondent.
The Claimants brought this action alleging that the negligence of the Respondent was the cause of damage sustained to their vehicle.
The Claimants and the Respondent, through its counsel, appeared for a hearing before the Legislative Claims Commission on November 21, 2019.
At the hearing, the Claimant testified that she was driving their 2018 Buick Encore on Interstate 79 North at the split between Interstate 77 North and Interstate 79 North in Charleston, Kanawha County. Traffic in front of her began slowing down and swerving to avoid debris in the road. She looked up at the green overhead road sign indicating the route to Clarksburg and noticed a swinging cable hanging down from the road sign. She observed the overhead light fixture fall from the road sign and strike the vehicle in front of her. The remaining section of cable fell and struck her vehicle, causing significant dents and scratches to the frame. She testified that there was traffic on both sides of her vehicle so she was unable to avoid driving under the sign or near the dangling cable. The Claimants submitted invoices in the amount of $2,996.95; their collision insurance required a deductible of $250.00.
The Respondent disputed the validity of the claim in its pleadings and at the hearing.
After duly considering the facts, the testimony and the exhibits submitted in this claim, the Legislative Claims Commission hereby finds that the Respondent, Division of Highways, was negligent in its maintenance of Interstate 79 North at the split between Interstate 77 North and Interstate 79 North in Charleston, Kanawha County on the date of this incident and that the negligence of the Respondent was a proximate cause of the damages sustained by the Claimants.
In view of the foregoing, it is the recommendation and opinion of the Legislative Claims Commission that the Claimants should be awarded the sum of $250.00 in this claim.
Award of $250.00.