Under ground drilling is being done throughout town to replace gas lines. The road had to be dug up due to an AT&T line being cut by Arrow Directional Drilling. AT&T hired a backhoe service to dig the hole (no contract) the backhoe man was dismissed off the job when the hole was dug and was told the city would fill it (he didn't have the equipment). I drive over it after there was a little rain overnight and ruptured both driver side tires and bent rims. I submitted claim to AT&T & city, I called everyone, and no one says they are liable. I am just seeking reimbursement $1725. City says they basically have immunity, but I think I have a reasonable expectation to drive down a street and not sustain damage to my car, doesn't matter if we had a little rain, the city knows there is digging. City Mgr even told me they are having a lot of trouble with the contractor (AT&T I think). I have even spoken to my City Council Rep, nothing. When it is a pot hole made due to the road being dug up and not by wear and tear, doesn't the city have some sort of responsibility? The City Mgr even told me that ultimately the city is responsible for the condition of the roads, why won't they pay?
First try to submit the claim to your insurance. They'll search for a liable party to pay. If that doesn't work then yes, it is lawyer time. In general the City will be immune, but there are certain limited exceptions. This situation doesn't appear to fall within an exception, but more talented lawyers than me might find a hole or two to squeeze this situation into to fit within an exception. As for AT&T or the contractor, they're not exempt. Find out who that is and go after them. Providing causation might be a little tough, considering this is a bit attenuated and the rain and flooding may be factor. Either way, it's time to lawyer up.
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You know the expression: "you can't sue city hall." It is not exactly true but sometimes comes very close to true. Start with ATT and bring them into small claims court if you do not get satisfaction quickly from ATT. If you bother your insurance company they may raise your rates.
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