Frank C. Mascara, Attorney at Law, for claimant.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.


On May 7, 1984, at about 2:00 p.m., the claimant was operating her 1970
Chevrolet Impala
in a northeasterly direction on Secondary Route 27 approaching the
intersection of U.S. Route
19, in Marion County. The claimant veered her vehicle to the right when
a vehicle proceeding in
the opposite or southwesterly direction was coming toward the claimant's
vehicle. Claimant's
vehicle dropped off the paved portion of the road into the ditch line at
that location. Claimant
then lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle hit an abutment, jumped
across the roadway and
landed up against the porch of a nearby residence. The claimant seeks
$100,000.00 for
personal injury and damage to her vehicle.

It is alleged that respondent failed to maintain the berm in a safe
condition and was negligent in
this regard. The lack of berm is alleged to be the proximate cause of
this accident. The claimant
was alone in her vehicle at the time of this incident. She had been
visiting her sister in Pittsburgh
and was returning to her home in Carolina, West Virginia. She was
proceeding at approximatelY
30-35 miles per hour. The claimant testified that prior to this
accident, she travelled this route
frequently. She stated that, at the time of this accident, she left the
travel portion of the roadway,
which is blacktop, to avoid the vehicle approaching her vehicle in the
opposite direction. She did
not regain control of the vehicle after she left the travel portion of
the roadway. She did not
observe any defects in the paved surface of the roadway.

James Richard Lee, who lives within a hundred feet of the accident site
testified that he did not
observe any defects in the paved surface of the roadway. He further
stated that the lawns of the
residences in this area extend to the travel portion of the roadway with
the exception of the ditch

Charles E. Lambiotte, Marion County Maintenance Superintendent in May,
1984, testified
that he was familiar with Secondary Route 27 at the intersection of U.S.
Route 19. He stated
that prior to May 7, 1984, he did not receive any complaints regarding
the ditch line adjacent to
County Route 27. He had examined his records back to 1979.

The route on which this accident occurred is a secondary road in a
residential area. An
examination of the photographs in the record reveal that the residents
maintain their lawns close
to the paved surface of the road but a narrow ditch line is apparent.
This is not an uncommon
condition along roads in residential areas. The Court is unable to
determine negligence on the
part of respondent in the maintenance of the road or the berm at the
accident site. For these
reasons, the Court is disposed to, and does, disallow this claim.

Claim disallowed.