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


On February 18, 1986, between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., the claimant was
operating her
1985 Dodge Omni on Route 60 near Amandaville in St. Albans, West
Virginia, when her
vehicle struck a pothole. Claimant seeks $134.58, which amount
represents the damage to the
vehicle. The Court, on its own motion, amended the style of the claim to
designate the
Department of Highways as the proper party respondent.

The claimant testified that she was travelling to work at approximately
45 miles per hour. She
cannot recall the weather conditions at the time of this incident, but
does remember that it was
not raining. The highway is a four-lane road. She was initially
proceeding in the driving lane, but
due to the presence of potholes, she drove her vehicle into the left, or
passing, lane. It was a this
point that her vehicle struck a pothole located in the alternate lane.
She did not see the hole
before her vehicle struck it. She travels this route daily, but had not
observed this hold on
previous occasions.

The law of West Virginia is well established that the State is neither
an insurer nor a guarantor
of the safety of persons travelling on its highways. Adkins vs. Sims,
130 W.Va. 645, 45 S.E.2d
81 (1947); Parsons vs. State Road Comm'n., 8 Ct.Cl. 35 (1969). For the
respondent to be
found liable for damages caused by road defects of this type, the
claimant must prove that the
respondent had actual or constructive notice of the defect. Davis Auto
Parts vs. Dept. of
Highways, 12 Ct.Cl. 31 (1977). Since the claimant brought forth no
evidence to that effect and
did not meet the burden of proof, this claim is denied.

Claim disallowed.