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Man awarded £2,500 after tripping on snow covered pothole

A man has been awarded £2,500 compensation after he stepped into a pothole that had been partially covered by snow.

The man had been walking across a car park, carrying his one-year-old nephew. There was a large pothole in his path. It was estimated to be six feet wide, three feet long and five inches deep. The man didn’t see it because it was partially covered by snow. He tripped and fell heavily on his ribs.

He suffered fractured ribs, bruising, shock and distress. His nephew also suffered injuries as a result of the fall.

The man was unemployed at the time. His injuries meant he was unable to fulfil his domestic chores or take care of his 10-year-old son as much as he normally would. He had reduced sexual activity and found it uncomfortable to sleep on his left side. His injuries were expected to last three months.

He brought an action against the local authority which owned the car park. He said it had been negligent in causing or permitting the pothole to be a danger to people who used the car park, failing to repair the pothole, failing to have an adequate system of inspection and maintenance and failing to provide an alternative or safe means of access to the car park.

Initially, the local authority said that the car park was on unadopted land and it had not been responsible for maintaining it. However, it eventually admitted liability.

The man was awarded £2,500 compensation in an out- of-court settlement.

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