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Old 04-09-2014, 03:46 PM   #1
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Galveston Motorcyclist sues City for pothole damage

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/ba...ge-5386198.php

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Houstonians are no strangers to potholes but if you or your vehicle is damaged by one of the many gaping holes in our pavement, can you sue?

Well, one Galveston motorcyclist is giving it a shot by taking that city to court for up to $1 million dollars. He claims he sustained serious injuries in a crash caused by a damaged road.

In a lawsuit filed in March, Charles Bolton said he was riding on 25th Street in October when he lost control of his bike and took a spill because the street and/or trolley tracks were in disrepair.

His lawyers are seeking at least $200,000 and up to a maximum of a $1 million to cover damage for what they describe in the suit simply as "serious injuries" caused by negligence on the part of the city.

A spokesperson at the City of Galveston offices said there would be no comment on the pending case, which holds them responsible for the condition of the roadway and of the trolley tracks.

In most cases, what is known as "sovereign immunity" protects local and state governments from being sued. But in the case of personal injury, that right is waived.

Lawyers say that in the case of roadway damage, if it can be proved that the relevant city office knew there was a problem with the road and did not fix it, a claim can be made against them.

"If the municipality is aware of the condition and doesn't take action then they are liable," said former city controller Lloyd Kelley, who has been party to several claims made against the City of Houston, which has a reputation for terrible road conditions.

Kelley said special mobility teams were set up to address road problems in Houston in the '80s and '90s after the city was heavily litigated over the state of the roadways.

"In one case, someone called in to say you've got a big pothole on Old Spanish Trail, the next person to go by also had damage. If the city has knowledge of an event they have to take immediate action," Kelley said.

Houston's public works department said Tuesday that they encourage people to call in to report potholes or other road hazards so that they can go and fix them.

"There are always going to be road hazards," said spokesman Alvin Wright.

Wright said crews currently complete 640 repairs every day in a city that suffers, he says, because of extreme weather.

"The drought has put pressure on roads. The weather also affects repairs, we can't work in cold temperatures or rain. It would be a waste of time, within a couple of weeks or a month it would tear up again," said Wright.

The case in Galveston is pending. Lawyers say precendent for suing over roadway issues there was established in the late '80s after a mother and her daughter were killed when their Surrey four person bike went over the seawall.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:09 PM   #2
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Those train tracks will get your If you're not careful.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:13 PM   #3
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I've gotten the potholes near my work fixed. I called 311 and told them there was a hazardous condition for bicyclists and motorcyclists. The city patched the holes the next day
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:15 PM   #4
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finally!! I have always thought or wondered why construction companies that change the road surfaces and municipalities that do not make safe roadways for motos are not held accountable, , even some cities that have potholes big enough to swallow a car tire.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
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I've gotten the potholes near my work fixed. I called 311 and told them there was a hazardous condition for bicyclists and motorcyclists. The city patched the holes the next day

By my job the put cones and a sign and its been a month lol
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:20 PM   #6
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I've gotten the potholes near my work fixed. I called 311 and told them there was a hazardous condition for bicyclists and motorcyclists. The city patched the holes the next day
and by "Hazardous Condition" you were referring to yourself.......
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:22 PM   #7
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and by "Hazardous Condition" you were referring to yourself.......
yea I was
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:22 PM   #8
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Those train tracks will get your If you're not careful.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:16 PM   #9
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Same with city side walks. If it can be proven that they have been made aware and failed to fix them, you can sue for injury
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:59 PM   #10
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Theres a big pothole right on the HOV lane on 59 coming south from Downtown. It's under a bridge right before 610.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:11 AM   #11
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Theres a big pothole right on the HOV lane on 59 coming south from Downtown. It's under a bridge right before 610.
Call TXDOT (713) 802-5000
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:58 AM   #12
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There are a ton of potholes on the Eastside where I work. Ya they patch them up but a month later the holes are back. Its a lose, lose situation really because if they do a real repair job then they will have to do road construction and they will take them a year to fix it because you all know how slow they are.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:39 AM   #13
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Lets just keep giving our tax money to the vunnables
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:13 AM   #14
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"In one case, someone called in to say you've got a big pothole on Old Spanish Trail, the next person to go by also had damage. If the city has knowledge of an event they have to take immediate action," Kelley said.
If this was going on in the 80's and 90's I guess they ran out of money because Houston streets are in shambles.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don747 View Post
Theres a big pothole right on the HOV lane on 59 coming south from Downtown. It's under a bridge right before 610.
that was fixed about a week ago... right under the bridge around the edloe entrance/exit?

I ride that HOV twice a day 4-5 times a week and that's the only one I've noticed.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:47 AM   #16
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the guy in the article isn't the first who has sued the city (Houston) for damages to a bike. every year or two you'll see an "I-Team Investigation" on one of the news channels about the Houston road conditions. there's always people saying their car was damaged (and they were).

Anyways, Fresnel will know the name but there's something on the books that protects the govt from these types of lawsuits.

In summary, you're screwed, be careful.
unless you are in a construction zone. if there is so much as one cone out of place or the chevrons on a traffic control device pointing the wrong way, they can be held liable. I know because I worked for road construction company for a year and a half and had to investigate these sort of claims.
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