Council says 'no' to glasses compensation

PUBLISHED: 13:47 24 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

Where the tree root tripped Linda Humphreys. A repair has now been made

Where the tree root tripped Linda Humphreys. A repair has now been made

A WOMAN says she is very angry with a council s decision not to compensate her for damage to her glasses caused when she tripped over a tree root. Linda Humphreys tripped on the root, which had grown across the pavement in Monklands, Letchworth GC, in J

The letter Linda received from the council

A WOMAN says she is "very angry" with a council's decision not to compensate her for damage to her glasses caused when she tripped over a tree root.

Linda Humphreys tripped on the root, which had grown across the pavement in Monklands, Letchworth GC, in June this year.

She fell into a hedge in a garden, damaging the £200 glasses she had bought less than a year before.

Mrs Humphreys said the root had been tarmacked over leaving a lump about six inches high, which was only visible from up close.

After the accident, Mrs Humphreys contacted Hertfordshire County Council to ask for compensation for the glasses.

But last week she received a letter from the council's solicitors informing her that she would not receive any money as they do not believe that "a trip of this size is sufficient to impose any legal liability" to the council.

What has further upset Mrs Humphreys is that despite the letter stating the council's duty is to "maintain" the path, rather than "maintain it to a perfect standard", the damaged path was repaired last week.

She said: "I'm very angry because the thing is they can't replace the glasses but they can repair something with the public purse. Why have they done it if it's all right?

"I said to them, accidents happen, I'm not worried about the cuts and bruises I got but it was just my glasses."

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said the council could not comment on individual claim cases for legal reasons and to protect confidentiality.

But he added: "Hertfordshire Highways carries out safety inspections of roads and pavements at least once a year (more frequently in busy areas), in compliance with national guidelines.

"In addition to this, Hertfordshire Highways deals with faults reported by members of the public.

"As a general point, national guidelines require that highways authorities carry out a reasonable regime of safety inspections and routine maintenance.

"A local authority's duty of care is set out in the Highways Act 1980.


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