02/05/2013 14:50 EST | Updated 04/07/2013 05:12 EDT

ICBC sues highway maintenance company over potholes

ICBC is suing the company that maintains the Coquihalla Highway over allegations 19 vehicles suffered thousands of dollars in damage after hitting some very large potholes.

In a notice of civil claim filed this week, the insurance company claims VSA Highway Maintenance failed in its duty to drivers on Feb. 4, 2011 when the vehicles hit the potholes near the old tollbooths.

ICBC is now suing VSA for $38,000 in damages to the vehicles, claiming the company was aware of the deterioration of the road and the large potholes but failed to warn the public.

But VSA Highway Maintenance says it's not to blame for the damage.

"We have an obligation to make sure that the road is in safe travelling condition and we met that obligation," says spokesman Bob Gilowski

NDP transportation critic Harry Bains says performance standards are written into highway maintenance contracts and questions if the government is doing enough to ensure those standards are met.

"What are they doing about making sure that those performance standards are met, and obviously in this particular case ICBC feels that they haven't met, that they've failed," said Bains.

Neither ICBC or the Ministry of Transportation would comment on the claim, but the ministry did say contractors work night and day to keep roads safe.

None of the claims have been proven in court.