• Target 11 investigates drivers filing pothole claims


    PITTSBURGH - A driver who told Target 11 investigator Rick Earle she hit a massive pothole four months ago is continuing to fight for someone to take responsibility.

    Lynn Sullivan told Earle she was driving on Wagner Street in August when she hit the pothole, bending the rim on her car.

    “The road was just horrible. I couldn’t believe it. My windshield shook, it was that hard of a hit to bend the wheel. It’s just a shame,” Sullivan said.

    According to Sullivan, she paid $248 for a new rim and alignment, and then filed a claim with the city of Pittsburgh.

    Sullivan said more than two months later, she received a letter stating the road was a county road, not a city street.

    “It’s been a vicious circle, vicious and terrible,” Sullivan said.

    Sullivan then contacted Allegheny County, and they denied payment because “there was no prior notice of the existence of a dangerous pothole.”

    Allegheny County officials told her, under the law, the county isn’t liable unless they knew about it before hand.

    “You need to show someone made them aware orally or by telephone, or that they knew or should have known the pothole was there,” attorney Cynthia Danel said.

    The county claims Sullivan’s report was the first time they heard about the pothole. The road was repaired soon afterwards.

    So far in 2013, in Allegheny County, 26 drivers have filed pothole claims. Only six of them have been paid for a total of $1,628.63. In Pittsburgh, 11 claims have been paid for a total of $3,691.72.

    Sullivan told Earle she plans on taking Allegheny County to court. She has a hearing before a magistrate scheduled next month.

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