A PENSIONER injured after tripping on an uneven surface as she crossed the road has won a five figure pay-out after a legal battle with Leeds City Council.
Grandmother-of-three Jean Whitters, 88, fell flat on her face while crossing Yeadon High Street, leaving her with two black eyes as well as torn muscles and tendons in her shoulder.
Nineteen months on from the fall in August 2012, she says her injuries have stopped her doing household tasks she had done with ease before.
When the former supermarket cashier reported the incident to the council, it initially denied liability for the condition of the section of road, which had been part of a £1 million regeneration two years earlier.
After concerns raised by local councillors that it was in an “appalling condition”, the authority later agreed to resurface the road, putting in a special membrane to strengthen it and stop it deteriorating again.
Mrs Whitters, who has lived in Yeadon for 20 years, has now accepted a £14,000 settlement after the council admitted it had failed adequately to maintain the crossing point. She said: “They knew their roads were in an appalling condition but yet they tried to deny it. That section had even been in the local papers. I think they thought that I was a dotty old pensioner who would go away, but they were wrong.”
Mrs Whitters was using the designated crossing point on Yeadon High Street, opposite the library, when she lost her footing on some uneven brickwork.
Her solicitor Chris Baxendale, of Slater & Gordon, said: “This was an entirely avoidable accident which has deprived Mrs Whitters of a great deal of her independence.”
A council spokeswoman apologised to Mrs Whitters “for this unfortunate incident”.
She said: “Regretfully we do receive many claims for compensation which are not legitimate, therefore all claims we receive have to be scrutinised and investigated thoroughly before any tax payers’ money is spent.”