Leeds City Council is facing a court prosecution after a toddler was crushed under a rotten flagpole.
River Webster, of Otley, suffered severe injuries when the flagpole at Otley war memorial collapsed on her.
The youngster, who was two at the time, still requires regular hospital check-ups nearly a year after the incident.
Now, following a lengthy investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the authority has been ordered to court.
It has been charged with breaching the Health and Safety Act by failing to protect the safety of the public.
A spokeswoman for the HSE said: “A summons has now been served on Leeds City Council. They have been summonsed to appear at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on March 15. The council is charged with a breach of section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for an alleged failure to maintain the flagpole at Otley memorial garden in such a way to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that people not in their employment using the garden were not exposed to risk to their safety from the flagpole collapsing.”
It comes nearly a year after the incident, on March 31, 2012. River was in the memorial garden, on Bondgate, when the wooden pole fell.
Otley was left gridlocked as paramedics worked to free her. River, left, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary suffering from a fractured skull and a broken ankle.
Grandfather David Hodge said River, now three, had recovered well, but still needed regular check-ups. “She has just started school part-time, she’s running around, but the doctors will have to keep an eye on her for a couple of years.” The family is understood to have sought legal advice.
The council, which manages the site and launched its own inquiry after the incident, said it couldn’t go into details of the case with court proceedings pending. A spokeswoman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment upon a specific case, particularly where there are ongoing legal proceedings, but we are working very closely with the HSE and regard matters of health and safety as being of paramount importance.”
A replacement flagpole has since been installed in the memorial garden.