"I don't believe a word he says"


04 February, 2009

Frank Heath v Rochdale MBC

Forbes recently represented Rochdale MBC at Trial in a highway tripping claim made by the Claimant who alleged that he had tripped and fallen in a pothole in the middle of the road sustaining personal injury.

The Council had denied liability. It provided evidence of an appropriate system of inspection on the highway. The Claimant was also put to proof that he had suffered injury in the manner he alleged.

In his Judgment District Judge Duerden said "none of the Claimant's evidence overcomes the Defendant's system of inspection." All complaints were taken seriously by the Council and there was no evidence to suggest that the defect was present at the time of the pre-accident inspection.

Furthermore, the Claimant failed to prove that he was injured as a result of the alleged defect. The Claimant was "very evasive, he tried to draw the route he used and was unable to do so." He was unable to show how he came to the accident locus and the Trial Judge was of the opinion that: -

"He was not very convincing at all. He was even less convincing when he says they went to the accident locus to take the dog for a walk when they had just walked past a larger area where the dog could have had a jaunt."

The Judge concluded that: -

"The Claimant has lost because I don't believe a word he says. He couldn't even give one straight answer."

The claim was dismissed and the Council was awarded their costs.

For further information please contact Anna Mychalkiw at our Blackburn office, Marsden House, 28 Wellington Street (St. John's), Blackburn, BB1 8DA. Tel: 01254 662831 or contact Anna Mychalkiw by email.


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