Drivers wonder who's responsible for damage caused by potholes

Published: Mar. 9, 2015 at 3:37 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 9, 2015 at 10:43 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - After last week's wintry weather, thawing is causing more potholes on Mid-South roads than usual.

Ask any Mid-South driver and they'll map out the mess.

"Over there off Jackson Avenue," said Memphis driver Trina Graham. "I had to get my tires changed twice." She's out $90 following the repair work.

Attorney William Hackett of the Morgan & Morgan Law Firm says Tennessee is what is called a Sovereign Immunity State, which means there's only one way the city could be held responsible for pothole damages.

"We have seen an influx of calls that the City of Memphis knew about the problem, and did nothing about. The problem is you have to prove your case through their own record keeping," said Hackett.

People have been reporting potholes to the 311 complaint line and through the city's free potholes app.

"Potholes tend to form quickly, and the science will show that," said Hackett. "The city will bring an expert to show that if it goes to court."

The final analysis is that it's hard to prove that the city is at fault. More money will likely be spent fighting in court than just paying for the damage.

Graham blames the potholes on Mother Nature as the City of Memphis works overtime to fill them.

"I see they've been trying to work on a couple of them, so I guess it's just taking its own pace," said Graham.

To learn how to file a claim for potholes, click here.

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