Suffolk: Council pays out �330,000 compensation for pavement falls

HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds have been paid out in compensation to people who have been injured after tripping up on pavements across Suffolk.

Compensation payouts given after claims were made to the county council have amounted to �331,546 since 2007.

The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request.

The largest personal injury payout was given to someone who had fallen in Primrose Way, Needham Market, and was awarded more than �70,000.

Details of each of the individual claims and the injuries suffered were not provided.

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The figures follow massive cutbacks across the county by the council, including �230,000 needed to fund school crossing patrols.

Among the highest payouts were �22,766 following a fall in Strawberry Fields, Haverhill, and �12,561 awarded to a person injured in East Street, Sudbury.

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A total of 34 claims were successfully pursued against the county council since 2007, with the smallest pay-out being just �50 following a fall in Hanover Court, Elmswell.

A resident who suffered injuries categorised as “broken/chipped bones” was paid �195 after tripping on the pavement in Old Kirkton Road, in Trimley St Martin.

A similar Freedom of Information request submitted to Ipswich Borough Council revealed that more than �28,000 had been paid out following incidents in the town during the same period.

The data submitted by the borough council does not detail the dates of any incident and it is understood that there are more claims which are still outstanding.

A total of �9,534 was given to one injured person who had suffered a broken wrist and bruised shoulder in Whitton Church Lane. Their injuries required hospital treatment.

Another person, who was injured in High Street, was paid �475, having suffered injuries to the arm and eye socket.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We have a robust inspection and repair policy, but on a small number of occasions the courts find that we have fallen short of the high standards which we wish to continue meeting and exceeding.

“We are always looking to improve our processes, and most claims against the authority are successfully defended.”

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “We try to keep pavements and open spaces as safe as possible but there are a few occasions, which we judge strictly on their merits, when it is decided compensation should be given.”

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