West Virginia Legislative Claims Commission

Volume Number: 29
Opinion Issued February 14, 2013
     Brent Robinson, 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 a public roadway known as Harmon Creek Road in Brooke County, West Virginia.
      2. On or around December 14, 2004, John W. Bittinger was operating his motor vehicle on Harmon Creek Road in or near Colliers in Brooke County, West Virginia.
      3. Claimants allege that the proximate cause of John W. Bittinger’s accident was that the portion of Harmon Creek Road in Colliers where the accident occurred was uneven and in an unsafe, hazardous and defective condition on the day of the accident. 4. 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 3 of this stipulation.
      5. John W. Bittinger was injured as a result of the accident and required medical treatment for his injuries.
      6. Norma Barnett (formally known as Norma Bittinger and former wife of John W. Bittinger) contends that she suffered a loss of spousal consortium as a result of the injuries suffered by John W. Bittinger in the accident that occurred on December 14, 2004.
      7. Both the Claimants and Respondent believe that in this particualr incident and under these particular circumstances that a total award of Ninety Thousand Dollars ($90,000.00) would be a fair and reasonable amount to settle this claim.
      8. John W. Bittinger and Norma Barnett have agreed that John W. Bittinger should receive Eighty-One Thousand Dollars ($81,000.00) out of the total award of Ninety Thousand Dollars ($90,000.00) as compensation for his injuries.
      9. Norma Barnett and John W. Bittinger have agreed that Norma Barnett should receive Nine Thousand Dollars ($9,000.00) out of the total award of Ninety Thousand Dollars ($90,000.00) as compensation for her loss of spousal consortium.
      10. The parties to this claim agree that the total sum of Eighty-One Thousand Dollars ($81,000.00) to be paid by Respondent to Claimant John W. Bittinger and the total sum of Nine Thousand Dollars ($9,000.00) to be paid by Respondent to Claimant Norma Barnett in Claim No. CC-06-0374 will be a full and complete satisfaction of any and all past and future claims Claimants may have against Respondent, for any reason, 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 Harmon Creek Road on the date of this incident; that the negligence of Respondent was the proximate cause of the damages sustained to Claimant John W. Bittinger’s person; and that the amount of the damages agreed to by the parties is fair and reasonable. Thus, Claimants may make a recovery for their respective losses.
      Accordingly, the Court is of the opinion to and does make an award to the Claimants in the amount of $81,000.00 and $9,000.00, respectively.
      Award of $81,000.00 to John W. Bittinger.
      Award of $9,000.00 to Norma Barnett.

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