LIABILITIES OF MUNICIPALITY - Negligence - Inspection of public property - Highway repair

Law360 Canada (January 23, 2023, 8:44 AM EST) -- Claim by Marsten against the City of Grande Prairie (City) in which her vehicle was damaged by a pothole. Marsten was on her way to work, travelling eastbound into the city on 100 Avenue, near the intersection of 112 Street. She operated a 2019 Lexus in a reasonable state of repair, travelling under the posted speed limit due to lunch-hour traffic congestion. Marsten noticed a road pothole and was unable to avoid it, despite an attempt to do so. After hitting the pothole, Marsten found her tire had split, lost its air, and there was damage to the rim. Photographic evidence suggested the tire’s sidewall was cut by contact with the pothole, and rim damage was evident. Marsten took a photograph of the pothole on the day of this event and reported the pothole and the damage to the City. She communicated with the City at various times, both in relation to her claim and the apparent lack of attention to the pothole. Carroll, Director of Transportation, worked for the City for 16 years and was familiar with the pothole phenomenon. When a pothole was reported, the City endeavoured to respond and address the issue within 24 hours. Potholes reported or perceived as particularly large and dangerous were given priority attention. Carroll was confident this pothole would have been repaired in response to Marsten’s reporting of it, despite her evidence she observed no such repair. Marsten claimed $1,244 for repairs and provided receipts. She did not claim for items unrelated to the tire and rim damage. She also claimed $223 for fuel expenses. Marsten felt the City should be responsible, while the City disagreed....
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