The majority of lawsuits arising from Cleveland automobile accidents are filed by one motorist against another. It is not unusual for a careless driver’s employer to also be named as a defendant, if the driver was on the job at the time the crash happened.Municipalities are also legally responsible for the negligence of their employees while operating a city vehicle. Ohio cities like Cleveland or Akron are also responsible for keeping their streets open and in good repair under ORC 2744.02. So when a car accident is caused by a defect or hazard in a roadway, the municipality may be held liable. Typically, the city or governmental entity seeks to avoid liability by showing that it wasn’t aware of the hazard and was therefore immune from suit under Ohio’s political subdivision immunity laws. But to do so, the City has to raise its defense in a timely fashion.
Did the City know about the Sinkhole?
The plaintiffs in a recent case heard on appeal by the Eighth District Court of Appeals ( Cuyahoga County No. CV-17-880786), were injured when their car fell into a sinkhole while driving down a Cleveland street in June 2015. The plaintiffs filed suit in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, seeking monetary compensation for their injuries. According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, a water leak had eroded the road’s substrate, causing a sinkhole to form which then collapsed under the weight of the plaintiffs’ vehicle.