Claimant Linda A. Sutton appeared in person,
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.


This claim was originally styled in the name of Linda A. Sutton, but
when the testimony
indicated that the vehicle, a 1982 Dodge Aries, was titled in the name
of Linda A. Sutton and
Dennis W. Sutton, the Court, on its own motion, amended the style to
include Dennis W. Sutton
as an additional claimant.

Claimant Linda A. Sutton testified that she was operating her vehicle
on I-64 between the
South Charleston and Kanawha Turnpike Exits, Kanawha County, West
Virginia, when the
vehicle struck a hole in the pavement. The incident occurred on March
27, 1985, at
approximately 2:00 p.m.. The weather was clear. The Interstate is three
lanes wide at the
location of the incident. Linda A. Sutton was travelling west in the
center lane of the Interstate
when her vehicle struck a hole located in the center lane. She testified
that she had travelled the
road daily, but had not observed the pothole prior to this incident. To
the best of her knowledge,
she believed the pothole to have been present less than 24 hours. As a
result of striking the hole,
it was necessary to replace a tire and to have the vehicle realigned for
a total cost of $162.60.

Ray Harmon, respondent's employee, testified that he was involved in
the maintenance of the
section of I-64 which is the subject of this claim. He testified that he
thought he repaired the hole
before it was struck by claimant Linda Sutton. However, Mr. Harmon was
not certain of the
date on which the repairs were made.

Mr. Herbert C. Boggs, Interstate Supervisor, District I, for
respondent, testified that on March
27, 1985 he received a call informing him that there was "a blow up in
the concrete" at the site of
this incident. He then directed a crew to repair this section of the
Interstate. Mr. Boggs testified
that the notification to him was received after claimant Linda Sutton's

The evidence in this record indicates that the defective condition of
the pavement appeared
suddenly and that the respondent promptly moved to repair the defect as
soon as it became
aware of the problem. Moore v. Dept. of Highways, CC-85-153 (February
19, 1986). Banhart
v. Dept. of Highways, 12 Ct.Cl. 236 (1979). Adkins v. Sims, 130 W.Va.
645, 46 S.E.2d 81
(1947), holds that the State is neither an insurer nor a guarantor of
the safety of the motorists on
its highways. The Court is of the opinion that negligence on the part of
the respondent has not
been established, and therefore, the Court denies the claim.

Claim disallowed.