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Ethel's Story: Damages Obtained Due to Trip Which Resulted in Her Passing Away

Ethel tripped in the street on the remnants of an old road sign that had been cut down and left. She sadly died as a result of her injuries. A settlement of £7,000 was subseqently awarded.


Ethel tripped in the street on the remnants of an old road sign that had been cut down and left. Over time the tarmac had worn away resulting in the metal piece sticking out of the pavement. As a result of her fall she fractured her hip but due to complications she subsequently died of her injuries.

An inquest found that the Local Council had failed to maintain the pavement and had she not tripped on the metal post she would not have suffered complications resulting in her death.

Conduct of the Case

We submitted a letter of claim to the Local Counsel alleging failings under the Highways Act 1980 and identified the findings of the Inquest. The Local Council denied liability on the grounds that they had fulfilled their Statutory Duty under the Highway Act 1980 by performing routine inspections and maintenance. They argued that the defect was not present at the last inspection before our client tripped.

We obtained witness evidence from local residence to confirm that the defect had been present for some time and certainly at the time of the Local Council inspection. The witness evidence obtained was submitted to the Local Council and an offer to settle was made. The Local Council maintained their denial of liability and so Court Proceedings were issued.

On the issue of Court Proceedings and before a formal Defence had to be served, the Local Council accepted our offer and the matter was successfully concluded.

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