Conclusion by Terry Bibo of the JS on 8/20/08. "Merle Widmer has prevailed at a cost". "We fixed the hole", said Peoria Director of Public Works, David Barber. "Over the decades that storm drain has been there, said Barber, somebody did things that made the grade around it less than ideal. (Mr. Barber knew of the problem in 2008 yet waited until a few days after I lost my damage clam to partially correct the problem.) The city has no record of what happened, but it did put the hole on it's list to be repaired. "Yes", said Barber, "it's on the city right-of-way. Mr. Widmer probably wasn't driving where he should have been".
Was our Public Works Director Serious when he said that? Or what?
And could Judge Vespa have been serious when he wrote in his final verdict, "This court finds the defendant City had NO duty regarding the drain in question".
Good grief, again.
Of interest, the cities insurance company told Mr. Voorhees, when denying his claim, "we feel more care while driving your vehicle may have remedied the matter".
Mr. Barber was successful in getting me stonewalled from getting the information that the storm water inlet was on city owned property. Yet, no matter who installed it, the city had to approve the installation as, Judge Vespa, it WAS on city property, just like the evidence I submitted to you proved yet in your decision you state "nor on city property, but on private property". I proved to you it was NOT on private property but I was denied by the city a legal description. Judge Vespa did not question the GIS map I showed him proving city ownership. Did he not understand the ability of the GIS system to display boundary lines between ownership of properties?
I understand the judge has announced his retirement. I should have know I lost the case the first day when the judge said to me, "You are represented by a big insurance company. Why didn't they pursue collecting your money"? Why not, I signed a contract that was $500 deductible like most people do. My insurance company did make an effort and were told by the cities BIG insurance company that I hit a sewer drain so the GPSD was responsible, not the city.
The somebody that "did things" was the city, adding layers of surface onto E. Lake Ave., making the "hole" deeper and deeper. Yet, while the city agrees they MAINTAINED the hole, they made no effort to raise the bottom metal screen to the top as they have done to hundreds of storm water inlets throughout the city.
But it has been done now. People still drive over the same spot I hit, feel a small bump and destroy the grass on the south side of the inlet hood. Possibly after all these years I accomplished what I set out to do. Did the Director of Public Works treat a taxpayer honestly?
You be the judge while I move on the the final part of this saga.