From 2 Investigators
We all know potholes in Chicago can wreak serious havoc on your car.
But even more frustrating for some: getting the city to reimburse you for the damage.
The city should have the money to pay you back, right? And if not, why not?
2 Investigator Dave Savini went looking for answers.
Mike Marderosian was driving his family on Lake Shore Drive in January 2009 when he got off at Fullerton and struck a pothole.
“Both my passenger-side front and rear tire just absolutely blew up,” he says.
It did so much damage, Marderosian filed a $750 claim with the city. The pothole he hit was eventually fixed, but it’s been so long since he filed his claim that new potholes have developed all around it.
First it took him a year to get his claim approved. But when he tried to get his check from the city in April 2010, he was told he would have wait yet another year. He said multiple city workers handling his claim have told him the fund to pay for pothole damage is empty.
He was even sent an e-mail last month from the City Council committee on finance that says: “We have exhausted our funds and that he’ll have to wait for a new budget next year before Marderosian can be paid.”
The 2 investigators found that’s not true. A finance committee spokesman says money is available.
Now Marderosian wonders if the city is stone-walling people because of budget problems. He said his daughter was two months old when he hit the pothole; now she’s two and has a baby brother.
He advises people who have had similar problems to be persistent. The city has now offered him half of his repair costs, but nothing for the towing expense.
A spokesman for the city council committee on finance declined to be interviewed and said there was an employee misunderstanding about available funds.