Canadian traveler says I-40 pothole damaged BMW

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GALLUP, N.M. – Nearly one month after Victoria Choisnet’s trip home to Canada was thwarted by a pothole outside of Gallup, she’s still trying to get the state to pay for her out-of-pocket expenses.

“I’m actually a little bit beside myself because it shows negligence on the part of the Department of Transportation,” Choisnet said. 

Even though the pothole only popped two of her BMW’s tires, she said she had to replace all four to avoid mixing brands, and causing further damage to her car.

“I had to replace my four rims, because two of them are damaged,” said Choisnet. 

But the state says it will only reimburse $1,700 of Choisnet’s requested $2,800, agreeing only to cover two tires, two rims and one night in a Gallup hotel.

“I didn’t submit for any taxes, I didn’t submit for any extra food for having extra days. So meals, I understand, they don’t cover that and that’s fine,” Choisnet said. 

Still, the state hasn’t budged. In an email exchange with Choisnet, an adjuster wrote the $1,700 is “fair and reasonable.”

They encouraged her to file a claim with the insurance company for the General Services Department Property and Casualty Bureau for consideration of a full reimbursement.

“I will ask her again, and you know if she wants to fight me on this, my next step will be I will just have to get a lawyer and go through the process, which unfortunately it will cost more for them in the long run,” said Choisnet. 

KOB 4 reached out to NMDOT and the Property and Casualty Bureau for the state’s General Services Department – they’re the ones who have been locked in that back-and-forth with Choisnet. Representatives said they cannot comment on any active claim filed.