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      02-04-2009, 11:50 AM   #1
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Suing Toronto City Hall for Pothole Damage?

Looking for some advice.

Did a search on the forum but couldn't find an answer. So here goes:

A friend was driving in the city in December and ran into a big pothole on St. Clair W. causing about a $1,000 in damage to her wheel and tire. She put a claim in to the city for the $1,000 and the adjuster just wrote her back that they were denying her claim as the city had no responsibility since they inspect the street twice a week and the city can not be seen to be negligent as pot holes can appear and they are impossible to predict or prevent.

So, question to the e90post nation... have you successfully claimed for pothole damage against Toronto City Hall and how did you do it?

Thanks!
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      02-04-2009, 11:56 AM   #2
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mannn, i wanna do the same thing...401 west bound is littered with potholes and they are like the size of craters..they need to do sumthing about this instead of just patchin them up every year
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      02-04-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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eh i hit a pothole going eastbound on the 401 toward ajax..

i have to replace one of the tires but i doubt the city would care.. you need pictures and documented information..

you can try again cause i doubt they check their streets twice a week.. cause if they did we wouldnt have this problem
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      02-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #4
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i tried a few years back and was also unsuccessful... i was driving east bound on the 401 just past Mccowan and they were constructing. Anywho they dug up a huge chunk of the highway which caused an abrupt 2 inch drop and my car drove over it bending a rim and ripping the lip off of my e46
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      02-04-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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I've heard that there is a long, drawn out process for getting compensation from the city for pot hole damage, but I believe there are rules. One of the requirements is that the city needs to be notified of the pot hole, and then has a certain amount of time to fix it.

Of course, this may all be un true, as proving it is pot hole damage on city streets is a battle in itself.
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      02-04-2009, 12:41 PM   #6
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here is some useful info:

Motorists Furious After City Rejects Car Pothole Damage Claim
Wednesday April 2, 2008
CityNews.ca Staff
As a result of the wildly fluctuating temperatures we've endured lately, the city has been inundated with angry calls about thousands of jarring potholes that seem to appear out of nowhere. They've done their best to keep up with the complaints, and have even vowed to fix any road crater within five days of being made aware of its location. In the process, they've spent millions of dollars trying to make our streets drivable again.

So you would figure that a substantial amount of cash has been forked over to motorists who have damaged their cars when driving over one of the holes. After all, Toronto has always maintained that they would pay for any damages, as long as you could prove the city's negligence was at fault.

Remarkably, however, not a single penny has been paid out during one of the worst pothole seasons in recent memory.

"There has been no payout of any pothole claim in 2008," confirms Jeff Madeley, Manager of Insurance and Risk Management. "The claims are paid in negligence. It has to show the city of Toronto didn't fulfill its duties, its obligations. We're not expected to be perfect. We're expected to be reasonable."

Those who have had to pay for their own repairs don't see anything reasonable about it.

Jenni McKeown blew a tire after driving over a huge pothole on Eglinton at the 427. She filed the paperwork, but was promptly rejected. "I figured I had a legitimate claim," she said. "I was very disappointed. I think I was just very na´ve."

Scott Heritage bent a rim after hitting the same pothole. "It was the loudest bang I've ever heard," he recalls. He too was rejected by the city's independent insurance adjustors, McLarens Canada.

"I'm on my own for any damages that were done," he adds. "It's a little upsetting."

McLarens Canada told them they had to prove negligence, which they apparently failed to do. In their letter, the adjustors describe Eglinton Avenue as a class 2 major arterial roadway that is inspected by the city twice a week. They conclude that the appropriate maintenance standards have been met.
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      02-04-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
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If you plan on pursuing them in court here is the info...however they paid 0 out in 2008 for all the claims filed..

How To Get Compensated If Your Car Is Damaged By A Pothole
Tuesday February 19, 2008
CityNews.ca Staff
The following is an updated report of an article that has previously appeared on CityNews.ca. Some of the phone numbers have changed. Others remain the same. The red tape hasn't been altered much, either.

They get you when you're coming. They get you when you're going. And if you're in your car, they'll eventually find you wherever you are. Potholes are as common as construction projects in the city and if you hate them as much as most drivers, you're not alone.


The city fixes thousands and thousands of the hidden hazards every year. But if they haven't quite gotten to the one you just ran over, your front end could be feeling a little sore. And so could your car!

Those rutted routes can play havoc with your vehicle, sometimes leading to expensive repair costs that you have no choice but to make to keep your well-oiled machines running. But it turns out, you may not have to.

If you can prove to the Toronto's sometimes exacting standards that damage to your car was caused by damage on a city street, they may pony up the cost of your next repair. But it's not easy. The cash strapped city keeps a vice-like grip on compensation and will dole out the cash for repairs only if you can really prove your case.

Jeff Madely is in charge of the city's insurance claims. To get money, he says you have to demonstrate negligence on the part of the city.

"Really the first course of action that an individual should take is to go to their own insurance company for recovery. They're insuring their vehicles. There's no obligation on a municipality to insure their vehicles," he states.

Do you have a claim you'd like to make? Here's how to get the ball rolling.

City of Toronto

First you have to prove it was the city's fault. Toronto's legal department never pays out a claim without a thorough investigation first.

Needless to say, they'd prefer you go through your insurance company first.

If you decide to pursue the complaint, you have to submit it in writing. The claim has to include the time, date and location of the incident, a description of what happened, and a damage estimate.

And don't wait. Any such bid for compensation has to be done, in the city's underlined words, "immediately".

Address your note to:

City Clerk's Office,
City Hall,
100 Queen Street West,
Toronto.
M5H 2N2

Fax: (416) 392-1867

Or you can email: clerk@toronto.ca

But even then you're not finished. Two weeks later, you'll get another letter in the mail acknowledging receipt of your complaint and if it's found valid, you'll then receive yet another form to fill out.

For more information, call (416) 397-4212.

City of Toronto pothole page


Ontario Highways

The needs are similar to the city, but the envelope or email goes somewhere else.

Mail a comprehensive claim that includes the time, date and location where the damage occurred, and include copies of any relevant documents - like a repair bill or an estimate.

Send it to:

Management Board Secretariat
Risk Management & Insurance Services
700 University Avenue,
6th Floor,
Toronto.
M7A 2S4

Here's where more government red tape comes in. You can fax the information if you want to (416) 314-4444 - but you have to follow it up with a mailed letter either way. And you may have to wait up to three months for an answer.

Call (416) 314-3445 for more information.

Pothole Repair

Finally, there's a way to get even with the pothole that did you in. In Toronto, call (416) 599-9090 and then push #1,6,4. You'll then be asked to pick the location you're concerned about and someone will take down your information. An inspector will go out and if the problem is serious it will be fixed right away. If not, it could take two or three days.

If you come across a hiccup on the highway, call (416) 235-4686 or toll-free at 1-800-268-4686.

York Region Potholes

To report a pothole in York Region, call 905-895-1200 x 5200 Not sure if it's a York Region road or a city road? Don't worry - they're sure to let you know.
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      02-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swifty View Post
mannn, i wanna do the same thing...401 west bound is littered with potholes and they are like the size of craters..they need to do sumthing about this instead of just patchin them up every year
Probably is with the 401, the jurisdiction is different from stretch to stretch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARA5HE90 View Post
eh i hit a pothole going eastbound on the 401 toward ajax..

i have to replace one of the tires but i doubt the city would care.. you need pictures and documented information..

you can try again cause i doubt they check their streets twice a week.. cause if they did we wouldnt have this problem
If I remember correctly, someone has to submit pictures and proofs that the potholes are there for a long time... otherwise, they won't pay up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MechUT View Post
I've heard that there is a long, drawn out process for getting compensation from the city for pot hole damage, but I believe there are rules. One of the requirements is that the city needs to be notified of the pot hole, and then has a certain amount of time to fix it.

Of course, this may all be un true, as proving it is pot hole damage on city streets is a battle in itself.
I was told even if the potholes are there long enough with no repair, they can justify by saying you are not driving at a "safe" speed, which means if you ran over it at 60, with a posted limit of 60, they can still argue that you were driving too fast.
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      02-04-2009, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxtor View Post
Looking for some advice.

Did a search on the forum but couldn't find an answer. So here goes:

A friend was driving in the city in December and ran into a big pothole on St. Clair W. causing about a $1,000 in damage to her wheel and tire. She put a claim in to the city for the $1,000 and the adjuster just wrote her back that they were denying her claim as the city had no responsibility since they inspect the street twice a week and the city can not be seen to be negligent as pot holes can appear and they are impossible to predict or prevent.

So, question to the e90post nation... have you successfully claimed for pothole damage against Toronto City Hall and how did you do it?

Thanks!
fyi, you can't sue City Hall. It's a building.
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      02-04-2009, 05:45 PM   #10
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looks like the optional $1000 insurance paid for wheels and tires through BMW would have paid off in those situations. I know out in my town I dont even have to have pictures. Just submit the claim along with where it happens, within a couple weeks a cheque arrives
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      02-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectg View Post
looks like the optional $1000 insurance paid for wheels and tires through BMW would have paid off in those situations. I know out in my town I dont even have to have pictures. Just submit the claim along with where it happens, within a couple weeks a cheque arrives
Apparently some folks are having problem claiming the wheel and tire insurance for damaged wheels and tires.
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      02-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #12
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do you guys sometimes feel avoiding potholes in the street makes you seem pretentious to everyone else who just plows right into them? sometimes i feel peer pressure to swallow my pride and drive straight into the holes just like everyone else lol.
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      02-04-2009, 10:10 PM   #13
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Apparently some folks are having problem claiming the wheel and tire insurance for damaged wheels and tires.
I meant out here Ive never had a problem with claims.
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      02-05-2009, 10:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoKids View Post
do you guys sometimes feel avoiding potholes in the street makes you seem pretentious to everyone else who just plows right into them? sometimes i feel peer pressure to swallow my pride and drive straight into the holes just like everyone else lol.
Actually I have the opposite experience - I slow down and swerve to avoid, watching the car behind close up on me fast obviously annoyed at me and once its his/her turn to pass through the hole I see them swerving or the car shuddering - I smile thinking that I saved their suspension since I made them slow down to avoid rear-ending me

Never care too much about what other people do/think/say.
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      02-05-2009, 02:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoKids View Post
do you guys sometimes feel avoiding potholes in the street makes you seem pretentious to everyone else who just plows right into them? sometimes i feel peer pressure to swallow my pride and drive straight into the holes just like everyone else lol.
Nope!

If they feel like damaging their suspension/wheel/tire it's their business! I will not cause a panic brake situation in the process but I do avoid/slow down when possible and sometimes you can tell that some drivers are annoyed by this but then again I'm paying for my car not them!
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      02-05-2009, 02:38 PM   #16
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To the OP concerning fighting city hall there was a case in Montreal last year (btw Montreal has a similar policy about not paying!). Where the motorist won her case (small claims court), and she won thanks to the city employee who took a picture of the pothole that damaged the drivers car. The picture was taken 2 or 3 weeks after the damage, hadn't been repaired at that point the judge imidiately stopped the city clerk and said something like it took over 3 weeks for you guys to take of it!!! Pay the lady's bill!!!

Best thing is maybe to take a picture of the pothole and actually see if they really do inspect/repair twice a week and take it form there!
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      02-05-2009, 04:00 PM   #17
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although i m from vancouver, but a friend of mine sued the city that they didn't inspect the road condition, and casued my friend's wheels bent from a big pothole, after a year the city agreed to pay for my friend of the damaged!!
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      02-05-2009, 05:03 PM   #18
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I have a friend's sister whose E46 got a torn suspension running over a pothole. He said it took them a very long time to get the claim and get their money back for the repair bill. There are sucessful cases, but you will need a lot of time to deal with it.
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      02-05-2009, 05:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerista View Post
Actually I have the opposite experience - I slow down and swerve to avoid, watching the car behind close up on me fast obviously annoyed at me and once its his/her turn to pass through the hole I see them swerving or the car shuddering - I smile thinking that I saved their suspension since I made them slow down to avoid rear-ending me
haha. i feel guilty, but i am the same as you. i avoid everything that is a different color from the road, even if i know it's a patched up pothole that is flat lol.
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      11-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #20
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The city will not pay for anything. You have to go through GraniteClaims and they will not pay either. Here is an article about them in the Paper. http://m.torontosun.com/2011/10/23/c...-hit-city-wall

I hit a pothole in Scarborough and damaged my rim. My rims were discontinued so I had to replace all 4.. Granite Claims wouldn't pay for any.

They claim they are not at fault if they run out and fix the pothole within 7 days. It is BS

I now have to drive around watching the ground for potholes and not watching for pedestrians or red lights.
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      11-09-2011, 04:24 PM   #21
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I got told every hole is fixed in 7 days and i didnt call soon enough. Did two 3 pc BBS on my last car. Claims adjuster was a nice guy and put my claim back in but it got rejected again.
Go to City of Toronto website for more addresses and phone #s.
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      11-09-2011, 06:30 PM   #22
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Was the hole fixed in 7 days though ?

I went to the one that killed my RFT 10 days later, it was still there and my claim still has a good chance



Quote:
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I got told every hole is fixed in 7 days and i didnt call soon enough. Did two 3 pc BBS on my last car. Claims adjuster was a nice guy and put my claim back in but it got rejected again.
Go to City of Toronto website for more addresses and phone #s.
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