2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

City has paid $40 for one pothole claim

Published: May 13, 2014, 5:11 pm, by Monica Mendoza

Since January, people have filed 123 claims with the City of Colorado Springs, hoping to get money to pay up for damage to their vehicles caused by smacking into a pothole.

The city has paid one. Count ‘em. One.

 Colorado Springs resident Janice Foster got $40 for a blown out right front tire. She hit a pothole on Rockrimmon at Freedom, records show. According to the claims evaluation, it seems that “the street’s exposure in this case arises out of failure to repair the pothole in this area within the 14-day window identified by Streets (Division).”

The claims adjuster said in her report that the city only paid a portion of the tire bill because “claimant’s tires were beyond the minimum serviceable limits.”

In April, Melvin Powell tried to get the city to pay $333.40 for a front tire and alignment on his 5-month-old car after he hit a pothole near Galley Road. The city told him that it was “immune from this claim under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.” Read more about Powell’s case here.

That act says a governmental entity is entitled to prior notice of such a condition – in this case, the pothole – and a reasonable opportunity to remedy it “before we would be liable for someone’s damages.”

The city keeps a running list of all reported potholes, when the pothole was repaired or if it is on the list to be repaired. Apparently, that pothole hadn’t been reported.

Here is the list.Potholes (1-1-13 to 5-2-14)