Pot-holes behind bulk of £250,000 Norfolk compensation payments
- Credit: Archant © 2005
Almost a quarter of a million pounds of compensation has been paid by Norfolk County Council over the past three years - the bulk of it for vehicles damaged by pot-holes.
The £250,000 figure, of claims settled between April 2019 and June this year, also included £44,000 paid out of court to a victim following historic criminal proceedings in the crown court.
That court case had led to the conviction of a school employee for sexual offences.
Other payments, revealed using the Freedom Of Information Act, included almost £13,000 for somebody hurt after tripping on an uneven paving slab in King's Lynn.
Elsewhere, £11,250 was paid to someone who was crossing a road in Burnham Market and tripped on a pot-hole and just over £10,000 to someone who tripped on a dislodged and damaged kerb in Norwich.
But the majority of the claims which resulted in pay-outs were due to damage caused by pot-holes.
The council had more than 1,330 compensation claims, while just over 1,100 were settled out of court. Seven ended up in court.
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A council spokesperson said: "The council receives several hundred liability claims each year, each one is investigated on its own merits against the council’s statutory duties, responsibilities and current case law.
"Any compensation settlement made for pain, loss and suffering is evaluated in line with guidance set out within the Ministry of Justice guidelines. "
They said the council, which last week announced an extra £10m to repair pot-holes, worked hard to maintain the condition of Norfolk’s roads - which cover some 6,000 miles.
They said Norfolk had taken top spot in the National Highways and Transport survey of how satisfied people are with roads for the past two years.
Notable compensation payments among other councils included £22,600 which Norwich City Council paid after a person fell on a loose paving slab.
The city council had 129 claims, of which 25 were settled.
That included £552 which was paid after a trolley a council worker was using to deliver food to a vulnerable person during the coronavirus pandemic rolled into a parked vehicle.
At Breckland Council, more than £8,000 was paid after a visitor to the council's offices tripped over, while £1,200 was paid out as compensation due to an issue with 'personal information'.
The council said it could not reveal more due to a confidentiality agreement.
Ian Sherwood, Breckland Council’s executive member for people, communications and governance, said: “The council’s robust processes and procedures help to avoid issues from occurring and therefore compensation claims against the council are minimal.
"We do not take claims against the council lightly and have successfully defended against a number of claims in the past.
"However, we carefully assess each case and where there is evidence that things may have gone wrong, we will consider whether a compensation settlement is appropriate, though the council has insurance in place to mitigate against the cost of claims.”
South Norfolk Council paid out just over £500 after a bin hit the claimant's vehicle.