The City of New York is experiencing the growing and increasingly expensive problem of potholes. The potholes create a hazard to pedestrians and often give rise to costly litigation, requiring the City to pay a high aggregate sum to settle the growing number of lawsuits due to pothole related injuries.
Over the past six years, the city has paid out approximately $138 million in an effort to settle over 4,000 lawsuits arising from personal injuries and property damage due to the potholes. To help alleviate the problem and financial blow to the city, the controller’s office has compiled all pothole related claims on ClaimStat, a system which provides the Department of Transportation detailed data on when and where these claims are made.
The implementation of ClaimStat comes as part of a city-wide plan providing funding for resurfacing of roads throughout the five boroughs. Mayor Bill de Blasio is allocating $1.6 billion to repairing and repaving roads throughout the city with more durable rubber and asphalt. The plan is expected to bring the percentage of streets in good repair to 80% by 2017.
Although city employees are working to address the issue, having already filled and repaired 366,000 this year, the ClaimStat system will allow city officials to address the issue more efficiently in an effort to avoid such costly litigation in the future.