CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Potholes in the city of Cleveland are hard to avoid, especially after a long cold and snowy winter.
But, the city seems to be doing a pretty good job of avoiding paying anyone who thinks they’ve suffered damage from the potholes.
Information received from a public records request shows that the city of Cleveland has received 50 claims from people who have asked to be reimbursed for damage they believe was caused by potholes in the city.
Of those claimants, only eight received some form of payment.
This means that 84% of those who filed applications were refused.
The city’s website includes a form for those wishing to file a complaint, but also mentions this disclaimer:
Special notice regarding potholes: The City is not responsible for damage caused by potholes if it was unaware of the potholes and had the opportunity to repair them before the damage occurred.
Of the eight claims that were paid, the city only paid $2,100.
The fact that only 50 people filed claims initially shocked Vanessa Kirk, co-owner of One Stop Auto Repair in Cleveland.
“I’m very surprised, but I’ve had a lot of people come in and they’ve tried to make claims in the past and they knew it was just a dead end,” she said.
Kirk thinks the difficulty of navigating the online form and the low success rate have simply stopped people from filing claims.
Shop owners said they take in at least four cars a week with damage, some significant, from potholes and she feels the frustration of customers trying to navigate the process.
“They’ll come and keep asking for copies of their receipts so they can keep sending and sending them and I’ll see them and ask them if they’ve already picked up or refunded and they say no,” Kirk says. .
We reached out to city officials to ask about the criteria for making decisions about pothole claims, but as of the date of this posting, we have not heard back.
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