OPINION ISSUED MARCH 3, 1989
WARREN E. FORTNEY AND MARY ANN FORTNEY
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant Warren E. Fortney appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
On January 19, 1988, claimant Warren E. Fortney was travelling on
Route 21, Marshall
County, in the vicinity of Moundsville. His 1983 Chevette struck
left the road, and went over
an embankment. The vehicle was a total loss. Claimants seek
for personal injuries,
work loss and loss of the vehicle. It was brought to the attention
the Court by counsel for
respondent that the vehicle in question was titled in both the
Warren E. Fortney and
Mary Ann Fortney. For that reason the Court amended the style of
claim to include Mary
Ann Fortney as a party claimant.
Claimant Warren E. Fortney stated that on the morning of this
he was travelling to
work from Proctor, West Virginia. He travels this road everyday. He
observed ice at this
location previously. He estimated his speed to be no more than
miles per hour. His
vehicle turned around in the road and went over an embankment on
right side. It is a
two-lane road with neither berm nor shoulder. Claimants had
insurance only, and were
not reimbursed for the damage to the vehicle. The book value of the
$2,250.00. Claimant Warren Fortney missed three weeks of work and
incurred hospital bills,
but he did not submit the bills to the Court. The hospital bills
covered by insurance. He
stated that he did not have an out-of-pocket loss.
Kenneth Davidson, respondent Maintenance Supervisor for District
which includes Marshall
County, testified regarding State Route 21. He stated that it is a
and local service route,
and therefore is one of respondent lowest priority routes "... as
maintenance and funding
Roads in this State, in the winter months, frequently accumulate
An isolated patch of ice
on a highway is generally insufficient to establish negligence on
part of respondent. Cole vs.
Dept. of Highways, 14 Ct.Cl. 350 (1983); Welch vs. Dept of
issued December 29, 1988). It is well established that the State
insures nor guarantees
the safety of travelers on its highways. Adkins vs. Sims, 130 W.Va.
46 S.E.2d 81 (1947).
For these reasons, the Court is of the opinion to, and does,