03 March, 2015
The Forbes Insurance team successfully defended two claims and negotiated the discontinuance of another claim last Friday on behalf of Tameside Borough Council.
In the first matter, Dunn v Tameside MBC the Claimant alleged that he was moving in to his new home when he stepped in to a pothole in the carriageway which caused him to fall and sustain an injury. Tameside MBC successfully relied on the section 58 statutory defence. The Judge was satisfied that the 12 monthly inspection regime was adequate and that at the pre-accident inspection the defect was not present. The claim was therefore dismissed and the Defendant awarded its costs.
In the second claim, Crossland v Tameside MBC the Claimant alleged that he suffered an injury when his bicycle hit a pothole in the road. Again, the Defendant sought to rely on the section 58 statutory defence. The Claimant argued that the road had been incorrectly categorised and as a result the frequency of inspection was inadequate. The Judge dismissed the claim, he noted that the road had been correctly categorised and commented that "in all of the circumstances the Defendant could not reasonably have been expected to do more." The claim was dismissed and the Defendant was awarded its costs.
In the final case heard that day, Beardmore v Tameside MBC, the Claimant alleged he had tripped on a kerb stone and sustained an injury. Following the rigorous cross examination of the Claimant, the Claimant offered to discontinue his claim before the Defendant had given its evidence. The claim was therefore discontinued.
The Forbes Insurer team and Tameside MBC are delighted with the outcome from the three trials heard on Friday. Local authorities can often be seen as an easy target. The above cases demonstrate the importance of taking a robust and consistent stance on highway claims. Further advice on similar claims contact Elizabeth Bower, Kate Humpston or Olivia Hart on 01254 662831.