30 January, 2015
DJ Benson - 23 December 2014
The Claimant alleged that whilst out cycling he hit a pothole at a speed of around 18 to 20 miles per hour and was thrown from his bike sustaining a personal injury. He claimed that as he was travelling close to the kerb, it was not possible to swerve.
The Defendant admitted that the defect was dangerous. The Claimant pleaded that either the method of inspection was inadequate or that the inspections that were carried out pre accident were done so negligently.
The Defendant successfully relied upon the defence in section 58 Highways Act 1980. The Claimant failed to put forward any evidence to show that the defect was present before the accident and the Judge was impressed by the evidence of the Defendant's highway inspector. The Judge found that the defect had not been present on the date of the pre-accident inspection. Furthermore, the loose materials at the side of the roadway and the high volume of traffic using the road led the Judge to find that a rapid deterioration had taken place.
The Judge similarly dismissed the allegation that an earlier patch repair of the road had not been completed to a reasonable standard and had deteriorated rapidly, finding that the patch repair was not in the same place as where the accident occurred.
The claim was therefore dismissed and the Defendant was awarded its costs.
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