Londoner considers going to small claims court over pothole damage
A large pothole, three metres long, is being blamed for an automobile write-off in east London.
The major hole on Vancouver Street has caused damage for other motorists as well, but the most severe damage appears to have happened to Heather Cormier’s car.
She hit the pothole on Vancouver, south of Dundas Street, and damaged the undercarriage of her 1999 Chrysler Intrepid. She kept driving and it ruined the engine.
"It was just like it ripped the whole bottom of the car out from underneath me,” Cormier says. “There was oil all over. I thought it was water."
Cormier had just spent $500 on suspension repairs to her vehicle and her mechanic told CTV News she was careful with her car. While she spent $3,000 on her Intrepid in the last year, insurance gave her $1,900 in the write-off.
Cormier believes the city should pay the $500 deductible on her insurance, but her request to city hall was turned down.
"To me, if it was just a tire, I could see them saying no. But if you wreck your engine on a road, I think that speaks for itself,” she says.
Cormier feels more people should be trying to hold the city accountable for what she feels is poor road maintenance. She says she's considering going to small claims court.
“I don't know how to go about it, but I'm going to learn real quick, and I'm going after them."
Brian Burt, a Vancouver Street resident has been hearing the damage to vehicles as they hit the pothole. He says city crews have been there before to repair it.
“They keep coming in and filling it up, but...it's sunk down again. And every night you hear the cars going by and you hear, ‘clunk.’"
The damaged road is the result of a broken water main that happened more than two months ago.
It was mid-March when Cormier’s car hit the pothole.
There are signs warning of the road condition. Even with those signs, CTV News spotted three drivers Monday, in half an hour span, scrape the front of their vehicles.
Some were going too fast.
Cormier says she wasn’t speeding and there were no signs up when she travelled the road in March.