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Brighton and Hove's £300,000 compensation payouts
More than £330,000 has been paid out because of defects on Brighton and Hove’s pavements and roads – including a single bill of more than £54,000.
Figures obtained by The Argus show there were 699 claims for compensation filed to Brighton and Hove City Council between 2009 and 2012.
There have been 61 payouts with the highest being £54,758 after a cyclist collided with a kerb on The Drive at the junction with Wilbury Avenue in Hove.
Accidents on uneven pavements cost the taxpayer a total of £183,348 over the three year period alone, with most people claiming to have slipped or tripped on the paving.
Snow and ice has also contributed to the council’s bill and the report shows two claims were made in 2009 for slipping in adverse weather conditions.
Someone slipping on a tree stump on Hartington Road cost the council £5,770.
Residents said a tree on the street near the junction with Bonchurch Road has roots breaking through pavement for a length of about six feet and is a frequent tripping hazard.
Saira Lalja’s home overlooks the tree, which she said was cut down two weeks ago.
The 20-year-old said: “Even I tripped over it when it snowed, I fell backwards and grazed my hand.
“It’s quite bad – I think they need to get rid of it.”
The roots of an elm tearing up the pavement at Seven Dials were one of the reasons the tree was listed for the chop, a decision which saw protestors sleep in its branches last week in an attempt to save it.
A wonky slab on Inwood Crescent left the council with a bill of £14,066.
Resident Matt Lewis, 22, said: “The slabs do lift up slightly and it’s always particularly bad where the trees are.
“You have to be quite wary when you are walking along.”
Cars being damaged by potholes in the road cost the council £7,505 in 12 claims.
The council said that settlement figures include legal and other fees, as well as compensation, and may not include damages.
The majority of highway and footpath claims pursued against the council are successfully defended - 84% over the last three years.
Council documents show the amount paid out by the local authority between 2009 and 2012 starts at £30, from a claimant who slipped to tripped on an uneven surface in Rottingdean High Street.
A spokeswoman said: “Every public road and pavement in the city is inspected on a regular basis depending on its use and location.”
According to personal injury website claims4neglience, someone with severe whiplash could get a payout of between £15,000 and £90,000 while a bank injury may see between £7,500 and £120,000 paid out.
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