City approves 21 out of 445 pothole damage claims, so far

Hundreds of residents are waiting for a response on claims they submitted to the city for the damage potholes did to their vehicles.

Less than 5 per cent of claims have been successful, says city councillor

Less than 5% of claims have been successful, says City Councillor Michael Vagnini. (Supplied/Keith Harris)

Hundreds of residents are waiting for a response on claims they submitted to the city for the damage potholes did to their vehicles.

Between Nov. 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019 the city received 445 claims, so far only 21 of those have been successful. 59 claims have been denied and the rest are waiting for answers.

Cheryl Chartrand says she submitted a claim to the city in April, after she hit a pothole on Southview Dr.

"We got out to assess the damage. My tire was completely flat, my rim was completely flat," said Chartrand.

She says the damage added up to little over $500 and her husband had to leave work to help her change the tire.

"When I talked to the city clerk she told me that I was the ninth complaint about that pothole... and a week later my husband went back to take pictures and that pothole still wasn't filled in properly," Chartrand said.

When she asked the city why her claim was denied, she says she was told the city was not liable because a crew had already been on Southview Dr. repairing potholes, although the one she hit was not repaired.

The City of Greater Sudbury says claims are reviewed by independent adjusters in accordance with the Municipal Act.

Vagnini wants a better process

City Councillor Michael Vagnini says he gets many calls and complaints from people saying their claims were denied. He says it's something that needs to be changed.

"What I want to see is a process that's going to be better for the people so that when they do put in a claim they're not coming back and all being denied," he said.

"We've got to fix the way we are doing things because if we [approve] less than five per cent of the claims that are coming in, it's almost like we're misleading to the people that they're going to get their damage repaired."

Vagnini says he's heard from many residents who can't afford to fix their vehicles because their claims have been denied.

"There are people out there who have damage to their vehicles and they still have not been able to repair them because they don't have the money, either they're on a fixed income or assisted living and so now they're reliant on other means of transportation because they haven't been able to come up with the money to fix their vehicle to get it back on the road," he said.


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