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London Borough of Newham brought to account

On 22 December 2012, my client Mr Teja was walking along Landseer Avenue with a friend when he tripped on broken and uneven paving causing him injuries and losses.

Mr Teja fractured his right shoulder. His arm was put in a sling and after a course of physiotherapy treatment he began to recover from his injuries.

In order to succeed with any pavement trip claim, you must prove two matters:

1. You have to prove that the defect was dangerous and that it should have been repaired before your accident. This is usually dealt with by way of photographs showing the size of the defect

2. You have to prove that the Council should have inspected the pavement before your accident and repaired the defect within a reasonable amount of time

In June 2013, the Defendant denied liability for the accident on the basis that they had a reasonable system of inspection in place. They advised that they had inspected the area on 22 August 2012 and no defect was noted at the time of the walked inspection.

Based on the size and depth of the defect, I did not believe that the defect could have developed during such a short period of time and I instructed an engineer to provide a report. The report confirmed the defect had been present and developing for a significant period, probably for at least a year before Mr Teja’s accident. I therefore had expert evidence to prove the defect would have been there on the walked inspection in August 2012 and should have been repaired before the accident in December 2012.

Based on the above facts Court proceedings were issued and served in May 2014.

During the trial, the Judge heard evidence from Mr Teja, his friend and the local authority inspector who carried out the walked inspection in August 2012. Based on the photographs of the defect and the engineer’s report the Judge found in favour of Mr Teja. The Judge was not satisfied that the inspector had inspected the area correctly and it was likely the defect was present during the walked inspection and should have been repaired before Mr Teja’s accident. Mr Teja received £4,000 in compensation.

My thanks to Mr Teja for letting me share his case to highlight that councils must repair uneven paving to avoid unnecessary harm to the public. The pain and inconvenience he suffered, as a result of his injuries could have been avoided.