Nashville rarely pays for costly car repairs caused by potholes

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Annoying, hazardous and seemingly everywhere. Chances are you’ve hit a pothole around Metro Nashville.

The damage caused by the concrete and asphalt craters can be expensive and even though these potholes are a city problem, the bill they cause, more than likely will be the driver’s responsibility.

In the past two years, Metro Nashville has only paid two claims related to potholes.

Jon Cooper, Metro Nashville’s city attorney, says the city currently has 92 pothole claims opened. Nineteen of those claims are still being investigated. Most of those have been dismissed because there was a lack of notice, according to Cooper

Based on a state law, the city is only liable if it knew about a dangerous pothole and did nothing about it. The Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA) says the city must have actual or constructive notice. Actual notice is when the pothole is reported to the city by someone. Constructive notice, as Cooper explained means “the pothole existed for a length of time that Metro, exercising reasonable care, should have become aware of the pothole based upon the circumstances and didn’t take action to remedy.”

GTLA allows the city a reasonable amount of time to make the repairs but doesn’t specify how long that is.

A spokeswoman says Metro Public Works has 6 teams, working 5 days a week, up to 12 hours a day repairing potholes. Since last July, these workers have filled 20,100 potholes. That averages to be more than 90 a day. In that same time, Metro has only received 1,710 complaints about potholes. As soon as the complaint is made, its sent to the operations team and a spokeswoman says the goal is to have that repair made within 24 hours.

Of the two claims where the city was responsible for damaged caused by a pothole, one was $698. 23. The second was $373.94.