How Cartegraph Helped this City Avoid a $250K Lawsuit

Accidents will happen—and on this Colorado day, one did. The result: a damaged intersection and downed stop sign. As a field crew cleared the area and restored the sign, a driver entered the intersection without yielding and collided with another vehicle. Shortly after, the driver filed a $250,000 negligence suit against the city.

CHALLENGE
Colorado Springs wanted to begin building an enterprise system that combined work, asset, and citizen request management capabilities. In addition to creating a more accurate and streamlined workflow, the city wanted to establish an extremely organized and reliable means of reporting tracked information, especially in high-priority situations.

For example, in cases of litigation, the city’s defense relied almost entirely on paper records, the contents of which often contained gaps that could easily be called into question in a court of law.

“Our old system only captured the incoming calls. The system wasn’t able to communicate with the work management system, so work orders had to be manually transferred to paper,” said Andy Richter, Asset Management Supervisor. “In legal situations, there always seemed to be information missing—a time stamp here, a missing page there. We never seemed to have the critical pieces to say, ‘This is what we actually did.’”

SOLUTION
Colorado Springs implemented Cartegraph, giving staff the tools to quickly and accurately enter information on the frontend, and easily access and report on that information on the back end. The city also equipped staff with field-ready mobile units, further streamlining workflow with the ability to capture information and create records immediately at the point of service.

“On the frontend, our Cartegraph system helps us respond more quickly, especially in cases of critical work orders,” said Richter. “On the backend, it creates an electronic thread that accurately illustrates every single step taken in the workflow process.”

RESULTS
Using the information housed in its Cartegraph system, the City of Colorado Springs protected itself from a $250,000 negligence lawsuit stemming from an incident involving a downed stop sign.

As litigation approached, Richter found all the information he needed was already organized and ready in the city’s Cartegraph database. “Within minutes, I had the information,” said Richter. “And because we use Cartegraph, all work events are automatically time stamped—when the call came in, when the work order was created, when the crew was dispatched, when the job was completed—we literally had everything we needed to make our case.”

About the author

Jon Hughes