West Virginia Legislative Claims Commission

Volume Number: 29
Category(s): BERMS
Opinion Issued January 10, 2012
     R. Chad Duffield, Attorney at Law, for Claimant
     Andrew F. Tarr, Attorney at Law, for Respondent.
      This claim was submitted to the Court for decision upon a Stipulation entered into by Claimant and Respondent wherein certain facts and circumstances of the claim were agreed to as follows:
      1. On or around October 14, 2005, Christopher Riffe was a guest passenger in a motor vehicle being driven by Jeffrey Lane north on U.S. Route 52 in or near Hanover in Wyoming County.
      2. Respondent was responsible for the maintenance of U.S. Route 52 in or near Hanover in Wyoming County, which it failed to maintain properly on the date of this incident.
      3. While Mr. Lane was operating his vehicle in or near Hanover, he lost control of the vehicle which traveled off the road onto the berm, returned to the road and then collided with a vehicle traveling south on U.S. Route 52.
      4. Claimant alleges that on the day of Mr. Lane’s accident, the berm at the location where the accident occurred on U.S. Route 52 was in a defective condition, that the defective condition of the berm caused or contributed to Mr. Lane’s accident and that Respondent either knew or should have known of the condition of the berm at that location.
      5. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this claim and for purposes of settlement of said claim, Respondent does not dispute the allegations.
      6. Christopher Riffe was injured as a result of the accident and required medical treatment for his injuries.
      7. Both Claimant and Respondent believe that in this particular incident and under these particular circumstances that an award of One Hundred Sixty-Five Thousand Dollars ($165,000.00) would be a fair and reasonable amount to settle this claim.
      8. The parties to the claim agree that the total sum of One Hundred Sixty-Five Thousand Dollars ($165,000.00) is to be paid to Claimant and will be a complete settlement of all matters in controversy in this claim and full and complete satisfaction of any and all past and future claims Claimant may have against Respondent arising from the matters described.
      The Court has reviewed the facts of the claim and finds that Respondent was negligent in its maintenance of U.S. Route 52 on the date of this incident; that the negligence of Respondent was the proximate cause of the injuries sustained by Claimant; and that the amount of damages agreed to by the parties is fair and reasonable. Thus, Claimant may make a recovery for damages.
      It is the opinion of the Court of Claims that Claimant should be awarded the sum of $165,000.00 in this claim.
      Award of $165,000.00.

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