No compensation for Branscombe pot hole break

13:00 02 June 2014

Marie Dowell

Marie Dowell

Archant

A Branscombe pensioner was left housebound after breaking her foot on a pot hole – but the county council is denying liability ‘for every single imperfection’ on the road.

Normally enjoying daily 12-mile walks, for weeks ‘stubbornly independent’ Marie Dowell had to be ferried about by her family, and the cost has added up.

Yet a letter from Devon County Council’s lawyers last Thursday revealed that her personal injury claim had been unsuccessful.

Her granddaughter Christina Squire joined the efforts looking after her, and said: “We were expecting compensation. By the time you’ve driven to hospital several times, and shopping trips, the costs add up.

“It was frustrating for her to lose her independence – she’s not that sort of person.”

She said it was ‘disgusting’ that, Marie, who frequently walks around the village and reports the road issues she sees, should get nothing back.

Christina added that her grandmother has no plans to leave the hilly village, but that could change if she becomes unable to drive and she and her husband are left stranded.

Marie, 77, was injured getting out the way of a ‘speeding’ car as she walked from her Parkfield Terrace home to visit her friend in Cotte Barton.

She had to dodge another two vehicles by Pitt Farm, and that was when she lost her footing.

It wasn’t until she went to visit her family in Seaton and taken to the doctor that an X-ray revealed she had broken her fifth metatarsal.

She was only just out of her cast last week when a letter arrived from DCC’s lawyers saying the pothole was only an ‘erosion of the top course of the highway’. It said liability would not be imposed as the council is ‘not under a duty to repair every single imperfection’.

A DCC spokesman said it does not comment on individual cases, but that by law a court would need to consider whether a person’s injury was as a direct result of DCC’s failure to maintain the highway.

He confirmed that the council has seen a rise in the number of compensation claims since government funding cuts had reduced local spending on roads, and that while there is no formal procedure for appeal against a decision, claimants can seek legal advice.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

15:35
Beer bee Keeper. Ref shb 5969-39-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A Beer beekeeper hopes to generate a buzz about his hive with a short film and book.

Read more
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Mary King greeted with Herald in California

Olympic silver medallist Mary King was met with a familiar sight in the Californian heat on a recent trip to America - as she was greeted with a copy of the Sidmouth Herald.

Read more
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jonathan Marshall

A celebrity falconer’s media career is in ruins after he forged an animal passport for his Golden Eagle so he could appear on the ITV Alan Titchmarsh show.

Read more
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Head teacher of Newton Poppleford Primary School, Stuart Vaughan. Ref shs 3049-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

The £2.5million rebuild of Newton Poppleford Primary School will be good for the pupils and the community as a whole, according to its headteacher.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Photo Orders
Competitions
Subscriptions
Facebook
Family notices

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition
Devon�s trusted business finder