Indiana's highway-damage bills face challenge

INDIANAPOLIS - A trucking company is asking the state appeals court to limit the Indiana Department of Transportation's authority to sue over damage done to state highways.

The challenge is in court as the highway agency is trying to collect more from those blamed for property damage, increasing its billing more than 50 percent in the past year to about $7 million.

Tennessee-based Averitt Express Inc. is appealing a Putnam County judge's ruling that it owes $60,000 for guardrail and pavement damage from a 2011 crash on Interstate 70. The Indianapolis Business Journal  reports Averitt maintains such highway repair work is already paid for by tax money.

The Indiana attorney general's office argues the state can seek payment for damage caused by negligence regardless of whether a company pays taxes.
 

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