ODOT pays thousands in damages due to potholes in 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Potholes are a problem here in the Miami Valley and throughout the state of Ohio.

ODOT is trying to keep up with repairs on damaged interstates, US and state routes, but the Ohio Court of Claims is still receiving claims from people with damaged cars.

The department has received 73 claims throughout the State of Ohio from December 2013 through February 2014, according to its interim clerk, Daniel Borchert.

Borchert said there were a total of 113 pothole claims filed in 2013.  Of those claims, 46 drivers received payments from ODOT for a  total of more than $90,000.

“ODOT paid an additional $1.8 million to a plaintiff in 2013 after a pothole caused someone’s death,” explained Borchert.

In 2012, the department obtained 165 claims statewide.  Of those claims, 74 drivers received payment from ODOT  for a total amount of more than $86,000.

“ODOT pays the judgement using its general revenue fund which is budgeted by the General Assembly for its operations.  The general revenue fund is taxpayer dollars.”

Claims filed against ODOT must go through the Ohio Court of Claims.  This department will submit your claim to ODOT.  ODOT will send the claim to the specific district in which the  alleged pothole is or where the accident occurred.

ODOT has two months to complete its investigation report and send it to the plaintiff.  In the report, ODOT will either accept or deny liability.  This decision is based on whether ODOT had knowledge of the pothole and failed to fix the problem within three to four days, given current weather conditions allow crews to do so.

The plaintiff then has 21 days to respond to the report.  Appeals can be made to the Ohio Court of Claims.

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