Woman wants city to pay up for pothole damage

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by JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on August 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Potholes are a nuisance.  But they’re an even bigger headache when they damage your car. 

A Capitol Hill woman has firsthand experience with the hassle.  When she couldn’t get the city to cover the repair costs, she decided to call me.

It’s a bright, sunny Seattle day - perfect weather for Nancy Anderson to take her sexy, red Fiat for a spin.

“It’s really cute.  And I got the sport model - the wheels, the dash, I love it all,” gushed Anderson.

Nothing, I mean nothing, can come between a woman and her cute car - except a city of Seattle pothole!

“Oh, it was totally destroyed!” exclaimed Anderson.

Nancy hit the hole back in May while driving down 15th Avenue on Capitol Hill and rounding the corner at Boston Street.

“I could feel my tire flattening,” explained Anderson, “The pothole must have been deep but small.”

Nancy took her car to the dealership and learned every relationship has its bumps and costs.  This one would run $626 for a new tire, wheel and pressure sensor.

“You can’t replace it with just a standard tire. Just looking at it is pretty obvious,” said Anderson.

Nancy reported the pothole and submitted a claim with the city for her damages. She included the work order and invoice, but a month later the city said it needed more proof.

“They needed a letter on Fiat letterhead, stating that the parts were indeed damaged and beyond repair.  So, I called the nice guy I had dealt with at Fiat and he couldn’t believe it.  He said, don’t they know that the work order is a legal document?” said Anderson.

Fiat wrote the letter, but the city’s claims adjuster still wasn’t happy. 

“After numerous emails I was told I needed for the dealer to submit yet another letter with more detail,” said Anderson.

Fiat tried to settle the issue with a phone call, but that wasn’t good enough for the adjuster who wanted more.  Deflated and out of options, Nancy decided to call me.

“As a citizen of Seattle, we don’t want waste, but I feel, frankly, a little offended,” explained Anderson.

I put in a call to the city and 24 hours later Nancy got a call from the city.

She said they apologized for the delay and agreed to settle her claim. 

Risk Management told me this was a misunderstanding with the adjuster, who they said was just being judicious with our tax dollars.

My tip here: If you’re having problems like this, ask to escalate your claim to a manager. 

 

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