Public Liability – Man steps in pothole and secures $950K

Mateo’s claim

Public liability – Suing local councils is not easy but we took the case on and got a great result for our client

Mateo was crossing the street when he stepped into a badly repaired pothole with danger-ously sharp concrete edges. As a result of the uneven surface, Mateo rolled his ankle, lost his balance and fell to his right side, severely injuring his elbow. He required emergency surgery and then underwent three further operations and was left with permanent damage. Mateo fell into a depression and suffered psychological distress.

When we first saw Mateo we realized that the case was not going to be an easy one be-cause under current law councils (which are responsible for footpaths) enjoy a near immuni-ty from law suits. We need to act quickly before the pothole was fully repaired. W engage a leading safety expert and engineer to assess the public footpath and pothole where Mateo sustained his injuries. He, in turn, confirmed the area was not only in a dangerous condition but that the council repaired it badly with little thought or care for the safety of pedestrians. To add more weight to our client’s case, we reached out to our network of experts and com-missioned a team of highly respected medical specialists to assess Mateo’s physical and emotional injuries. They prepared a detailed assessments on how severe our client’s inju-ries were and concluded that Mateo would need a full elbow replacement in the future.

Eventually we took Mateo’s case to mediation and, after two days of negotiations were able to secure a settlement of $950,000 for our client. Mateo was very pleased with this outcome and planned to use the money for future treatment and retraining for a job that would ac-commodate his injuries.