Should Drivers Be Able to Sue Pa. Over Pothole Damage?

State Rep. John Lawrence thinks so. He says his new bill would encourage PennDOT to fix holes faster.

After this past winter, many of Pennsylvania’s roads are littered with potholes — and many of Pennsylvania’s cars are suffering for it.

“In my area, the pothole situation is simply out of control,” says Republican state Rep. John Lawrence, who represents parts of Chester and Lancaster counties. “I have personally reported potholes to PennDOT that have gone unrepaired for weeks on end.”

Lawrence is planning to introduce a bill that would allow motorists to sue the state for property damages caused by potholes.

“Adoption of this proposal would encourage PennDOT to fill potholes faster by hiring extra crews, contractors, and/or by scheduling night/weekend work, as all of these alternatives would be cheaper than paying out multiple claims to pothole-damaged automobiles,” Lawrence wrote in a memorandum asking lawmakers to co-sponsor the legislation.

Under Lawrence’s proposal, a motorist could seek relief only if the state was aware of the pothole for “a sufficient time prior to the event to have taken measures” to repair it, but failed to take action.

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Previously: Philly Says It Will Fill a Reported Pothole in Three Days