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Manchester man wins compensation after fall
On 01/02/08, a Manchester court awarded £4,500 to Mr Carl Fraine, who tripped and fell in a pothole. Mr Fraine suffered a fractured ankle and was unable to work for several weeks after the fall in December 2003.
The pothole was on a service road for a car park, serving a large block of flats in the Tameside area. Manchester City Council constructed the estate some 50 years earlier and sold it off in the meantime. They denied that they were responsible for the deterioration of the road whilst it was privately owned. The individual who owned the estate at the time of the fall, Mr White, also denied responsibility, as he suggested that the hole was on the highway rather than on the estate. Finally Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, the Council responsible for the roads in the area, denied responsibility, saying that the defect was on private land.
Bob Miller of Fentons acted for Mr Fraine: "Each of the 3 Defendants denied responsibility for the accident and provided very little information to resolve who was to blame. They seemed to be hoping that the claim would go away rather than addressing the issues."
The Judge decided that Manchester City Council, when building the estate had constructed the service road as a highway. In line with the 2002 case of Gulliksen v Pembrokeshire County Council, this meant that the road automatically became the responsibility of the local highway authority, not Manchester in this case, but Tameside. Tameside were then found to be responsible for failing to maintain a highway that they never actually realised was theirs.
"This is excellent for Mr Fraine. After all of the denials and delays from the Defendants, I am very glad to get this result for him." said Bob Miller. "The case highlights the fact that Councils cannot simply construct and sell off estates without considering the consequences. It must be kept in mind by anyone who falls on apparently private land."
Bob Miller a solicitor at Fentons Solicitors acted for the claimant.
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