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Claimant injured due to defect on a communal pathway in the external grounds of her flat complex. File rejected by Claimants previous solicitors following negative advice shortly before limitation and settlement achieved after commencement of proceedings.

I represented this retired Claimant in a claim against her Landlord. The Claimant tripped on a protruding paving slab on a communal pathway when leaving her flat suffering injuries to her knees and a fractured wrist   The Claimant did not have accurate measurements of the defect and the Claimant rarely used this pathway and had not noted or reported the defect previously. The Claimant’s came to us, shortly before limitation, after her existing solicitors had received negative advice from Counsel on the basis of the absence of any prior report to the landlord and given the absence of accurate measurements of the defect.  The Claimant was clearly suffering significant symptoms.

Review of the Claimant’s tenancy agreement which showed an obligation to keep the pathway in good repair which was not qualified by the obligation to report any defects (although there was such an obligation elsewhere in the Tenancy).  I argued that, on Land law principles, the pathway was in disrepair and the Landlord was in breach of a warranty and accordingly it was not necessary to prove prior knowledge of the defect to the landlord.


Medical evidence was obtained from a Professor of wrist surgery who confirmed the Claimant would suffer long term symptoms from her wrist injury. An orthopaedic expert confirmed that the Claimant had suffered an acceleration of pre-existing arthritis in the knees by 12 months.


Proceedings were issued and the matter settled shortly before a Case Management Hearing for the sum of £35,000 representing compensation for the injury, past and future care and anticipated future treatment costs.


The case demonstrates the importance of keeping abreast of other areas of law as the claim may well have failed if assessed and pursued on purely personal injury grounds

– Carl Davies

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