During July 2007, one of our clients (a woman aged 60) was walking along the pavement close to the shopping centre in Swindon when she tripped and fell to the ground and fractured her right shoulder. The cause of her trip is that she had stepped onto the cover of an inspection chamber which had a concrete surface which had become severely cracked and pitted. This inspection cover was the property and/or responsibility of Thames Water Utilities Limited.

A letter of claim was submitted on her behalf but the insurers of Thames Water denied liability. They maintained that the manhole cover, whilst cracked, did not constitute a danger to pedestrians as there was an insufficient lip to cause someone to trip. Proceedings had to be issued at Swindon County Court and shortly before the date fixed for trial, the parties were able to agree upon a settlement. This figure had to be discounted to represent the litigation risk that our client may not succeed with her claim at trial.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £3,500 for this client in 2011