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Watch Out for Potholes

Watch Out for Potholes

Winter brings unique weather challenges, and the outcome of all that damage done to roads across the country means potholes. Most municipalities fill them in as the temperature warms and reduces the likelihood of continued snow. But sometimes these gouges in the ground go unrepaired.

Pothole drama has hit Portsmouth, NH. About three years ago, an ex-Zoning Board of Adjustment member, Robin Rousseau, parked her car in a city-owned parking lot and made her way to her condominium. While walking there, she fell on a large pothole in the lot and suffered injury. She notified the city of her injuries the following day, and the city acknowledged receipt of her complaint. Then nothing happened, so Ms. Rousseau has decided to sue the city for damages.

Some leniency could be given in the event that the city did not previously know the pothole existed and was only made aware of an issue after someone got hurt. But that wasn’t the case in Portsmouth. As of a February 2014 meeting, the City Council knew of the parking lot’s conditions, according to Ms. Rousseau’s lawsuit. At the specific meeting referred to, public commentary was given that described the conditions of that very parking lot, and the City Manager acknowledged the conditions of the lot as well as their need of repair.

Ms. Rousseau claims that she has suffered “personal injury, great pain of body and mind thereof, lost income, medical bills, hedonic damages, and permanent injury.”