Woman wants Kansas City to take responsibility for car damage from poorly maintained roads

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro woman says a pothole turned into a big headache, and a huge repair bill. After arguing with the city about the damage to her daughter-in-law's car, she called the FOX 4 Problem Solvers.

Now a month later, the woman says she's still waiting for the city to take responsibility for the damage.

“It did considerable damage to her passenger-side front of her car; we had to tow it home,” said Tammi Liebsch, about her daughter-in-law’s car.

On December 8, Liebsch's daughter-in-law hit a pothole on Cookingham Drive, an area where she says the roads are very poorly maintained. Liebsch says she reported it to the city.

“December 9th, the city manager`s office sent me an email back saying it`s been forwarded to the appropriate city department,” Liebsch said.

She heard back from that department saying it would be looked into, but then came the bad news.

“I got letters saying we're not covering it, it wasn`t their responsibility, and then I talked to MoDOT because they said it was MoDOT`s responsibility, but they confirmed it wasn`t,” Liebsch said.

For more than a month now -- she's been going back and forth with the city.

“So he said he would go out and re-investigate it, and that`s when he came back again, and said it was the highway department, not the city,” Liebsch said.

As it turns out -- MoDOT maintains Cookingham east of I-435. The city maintains the intersection of Woodland and Northeast Cookingham Dr., which would include the area between Agnes and Woodland where the pothole was hit.

“We had to go ahead and replace the front tires, so she`d be able to go back and forth to work,” said Liebsch, “They had an estimate done, and we`re about at $840, and that`s without the front-end being estimated yet.”

Her daughter-in-law had made one payment on her brand new car when this happened.

“They`re a newly married couple, they just don`t have money in savings to just put out randomly to fix things,” Liebsch said.

She says the city has since stopped responding to her, and now she wants to warn others.

“Right now it`s full of water. Most people wouldn`t even see them at night time,” said Liebsch, “I would just like the city to take responsibility, that it`s their pothole, their issue, and fix the car, that`s all we want.”

It was the city spokesman who pointed out to FOX 4 that the stretch of road where the woman hit the pothole did, in fact, belong to the city. However, it wasn't until FOX 4's Melissa Stern pointed out to him on a map the exact location where the incident happened fell within those perimeters that the city acknowledged it.

She has yet to hear back whether they will take responsibility for the damages.