Mum sues council after girl’s path fall
The following article was published by The Shields Gazette on Saturday, 19th November, 2011. The case is being handled by Kirsty Broadway of our Bristol office.
By GARETH CRICKMER
Published on Saturday 19 November 2011 09:00
THE mum of a schoolgirl who tripped in a pothole is suing over her alleged injuries.
Irate Donna Taylor, 33, admits her daughter, Levy, eight, suffered only bruising and swelling, but insists that South Tyneside Council had been warned that a row of eight holes was dangerous – and failed to act.
Now she could win thousands of pounds in compensation, after her solicitors launched a negligence action.
Yesterday, Ms Taylor told of the moment a friend phoned to tell her Levy was lying on the ground being tended by an ambulance crew.
The single mum-of-three, from Biddick Hall in South Shields, said: “I was in shock. I feared the worst – I thought she’d been hit by a car and run over.
“I raced to her, but by the time I got there the ambulance had taken her home and they were treating her there.
“Luckily, she escaped with only bruising to her left hip and swelling to her right knee, but it could have been much worse.”
She added: “I dread to think how bad a fall could have been for someone who was elderly. These were not little holes.
“A householder who helped Levy said the potholes had been reported to the council weeks earlier.
“It’s clear they were a danger and should have been filled in.”
Levy allegedly tumbled as she walked home with a friend from Biddick Hall Junior School in Chesterton Road in mid-October.
She had started walking home on her own just days earlier.
Ms Taylor claims the incident happened in a lane just off Sheridan Road and within view of the school. Residents, one of whom called an ambulance, have told her there were eight potholes.
They have since been filled in.
The ambulance drove Levy to her nearby home and her injuries were treated with an ice pack.
Ms Taylor then contacted London and Bristol-based injury claims solicitor Pattinson & Brewer.
Kirsty Broadway, who is representing Ms Taylor, said: “People should not be put off complaining when incidents like this happen.
“There is no excuse for complacency where the public are concerned. This accident to an eight-year-old child could have been much more serious.
“Fortunately, Levy was lucky, but we will insist that the council face up to their responsibilities and deal with the matter before someone else is hurt.”
South Tyneside Council confirmed the claim was in the hands of its insurance team.