Local Woman Recovers £11,000 in Damages from Wakefield Council

Published: 11th March 2014

In August 2011, a four-year-old girl was playing in the local park in the outdoor play area. Her grandmother, who was helping her towards the climbing frame, tripped in a triangular 2ft x 2ft crater in the tarmac.

In an effort to avoid falling on her granddaughter, she stumbled forward trying to regain her balance by grabbing a see-saw. As she fell, she wrenched her right shoulder.

Wakefield Council admitted that the hole had been present for a considerable period of time and that it should have repaired it before the accident had happened. However, it said that although the hole was a hazard, the woman should have seen it and was therefore responsible for the accident.

After negotiation, it was agreed that 5% of the claimant’s damages should be deducted from her claim for her contribution to the accident.

Despite repeated attempts at settling the claim with the Council, it refused to admit the accident had ever happened. It had no evidence whatsoever to support this and the woman had a witness statement from her sister who was with her when the accident happened, and GP records noting the accident.

Court proceedings were therefore issued. It was only at this point that the Council made any proposals for settlement. The case settled within six weeks of proceedings being issued.

The claimant had damaged her right shoulder, which made it difficult for her to carry out tasks above head height requiring any strength in the shoulder.

The orthopaedic consultant who assessed her thought that she would have developed the condition anyway, but not for another six years or so.

Her claim was settled for £11,000, including the cost of paying a window cleaner, someone to assist with the housework and someone to help with painting and decorating because she could no longer do these things herself.

Liddy’s Solicitors represented her. Actions against the local authority are full of difficulties. If the claim is to succeed, the solicitor will need considerable experience. At Liddy’s Solicitors you are guaranteed to see a solicitor with between six and 20 years’ experience.

If you have need of a solicitor in an action against the local authority, in a road traffic accident, in accidents at work or in clinical negligence matters, please telephone us on 01924 780753 or 01226 731314.