December 27, 2009 in City

Saying potholes caused crash, Spokane man sues Idaho

Associated Press
 

A Spokane man has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the state of Idaho for injuries he says resulted from a crash caused by potholes on Interstate 90 in North Idaho.

Kasey Crick, 22, filed the lawsuit Dec. 18 after the state denied any wrongdoing in response to a tort claim he had filed following the Dec. 28, 2007, accident.

According to court files obtained by the Coeur d’Alene Press, Crick was a passenger in a vehicle pulling a trailer when the trailer came dislodged after running over potholes in the westbound lane just west of Coeur d’Alene.

The lawsuit said the driver pulled into the median to reattach the trailer when another vehicle hit the same series of potholes, breaking that vehicle’s steering mechanism.

That vehicle then struck the trailer, which struck Crick, breaking his pelvis and causing other injuries.

Idaho did not take the proper precautions to prevent the accident, the lawsuit said, and “that failure constituted negligence.”

Crick is being represented by Spokane-based attorney Patrick Fannin.

“My client was in massage therapy school at the time but dropped out because they didn’t think he would be able to stand that well,” Fannin said. “He’s made a fairly good recovery, but still has ongoing pain.”

An official with the state’s risk management department declined to comment.

Bill Kaufman, maintenance coordinator for the Idaho Transportation Department, said the local office received complaints about the potholes around the time of the accident.

But Kaufman said bad weather that year prevented resurfacing of that section of road, and that temporary patches were mostly ineffective.

“It was just a really horrible winter – everything fell apart,” he said.

Crick is seeking restitution for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation and school tuition costs. The $500,000 he is seeking is the highest among possible from the state.

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