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Problem Solvers: Couple Wants Car Fixed After Road Painting Causes Damage

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 18:59:50-05

“That really frustrated me because they were doing me a dirty. Just absolutely doing me dirty,” Frank Cooper said.

Cooper and his wife are upset after they say the Oklahoma Department of Transportation sprayed their vehicle with paint in Wagoner.

“There's paint from here clear to the front of the car. There's paint on the wheels as you can see right there,” said Cooper, showing the problem solvers the damage in his driveway.

You can see yellow specks of paint covering the driver's side of his truck.

“Let me tell ya, it don't come off,” Cooper said.

Cooper and his wife were driving down the road back in August when they say an ODOT truck re-painting the lanes drove right by them.

“We looked and here it came. And my first thought was "oh boy." I hope he doesn't spray my car,” Cooper said.

“We were in the left-hand turn lane and there was a semi-truck in the right-hand lane. So, we were trapped. Absolutely trapped, we could not do one thing. Except sit there and let him spray my car,” Cooper tells us.

When the couple realized what happened they contacted ODOT that told them to get two different estimates on the damage.

Cooper says his claim was denied not once, but twice.

“They didn't do a really good investigation or they would have come up with the same thing I did. They just didn't do it right to me,” Cooper said.

He tells the problem solvers that he’s tried to get the paint off himself but it won't budge.

So, we reached out to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

This is what wrote to us:

“ Tort claims against the state of Oklahoma are investigated thoroughly, as taxpayer money is used to pay approved claims.

With this particular type of claim, claimants must prove negligence on the part of the state per the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act:

51 O.S. 155 (31) Maintenance of the state highway system or any portion thereof unless the claimant presents evidence which establishes either that the state failed to warn of the unsafe condition or that the loss would not have occurred but for a negligent affirmative act of the state.

Signage was in place to warn drivers of the work zone operations, which involved the application of water-based paint. The claim was denied as it didn’t prove negligence on the part of the state under the Act.

While we understand this is not the resolution the claimants had hoped for, we must follow the statutory requirements.”

--Oklahoma Department of Transportation

Cooper is disappointed and maintains from where he was driving there was no warning.

“There were no cones, there were no signs like they said there was. They just weren't there,” Cooper said.

Cooper tells us he plans to file a small claims lawsuit against ODOT to get the repairs taken care of.

He says he does not feel he's been treated fairly.

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