Olympia drivers are red hot over yellow paint

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by JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Julie Triplett’s says her current brush with City of Olympia is about paint, specifically yellow street paint that ended up all over her car.

“It really doesn’t make sense,” said Triplett.

In fact, more than 20 people have filed claims over its summer street paint job. 

“There was so much wet paint tracked around town on all different streets and cars.  It was just apparent to us that something was wrong,” said Triplett.

Here’s the deal . On two days in July the city painted more than a dozen streets.  It provided media releases stating the work would take place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.  After the first day, Julie’s husband returned from work and learned he got a brand new coat of paint.

“When he pulled into the driveway our son said, what’s that yellow stuff on the car?  And that was when we noticed that we had driven over paint that morning,” explained Triplett.

The couple back tracked the trip to his place of work and took pictures of the line he crossed when turning left into work.  Since the paint wouldn’t come off, it would take a professional $300 to do the job.  That’s why the Tripletts filed a claim with the city.

“We were surprised.  I think maybe 10 days later, maybe two weeks, to receive a letter from the insurance company of the city stating that they regretfully denied our claim,” said Triplett.

An email from the claims representative said the city was not negligent based on the reasonable action to warn motorists of roadway paint striping.

“The city did in fact concede that there were no cones placed, no flaggers, nothing left behind besides the paint crew and a supposed trail truck,” explained Triplett.

The press releases said work was scheduled from 8am to 6pm.  Now the city admits it actually started painting at 6 a.m.

“My husband was driving at work at six o’clock that morning. Thank you for noticing that,” said Triplett.

Again more than 20 people have filed claims with the city.  So I went to City Hall to talk to the mayor about the issue.  But his office sent a spokesperson instead, who put me off on someone else.  I even contacted Olympia’s insurer.  It told the Tripletts so sorry, sue us.

“Obviously this is going to be expensive for the city if they have to pay for a mistake that they made,” said Triplett.  “I think they’re just trying to wash their hands of me which is kind of maddening.”

But it seems the paint on the city’s hands isn’t coming off any time soon.  If this happened to you, file a complaint with the Insurance Commissioner’s Office and give me a call because this fight is not over.
 

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