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Mike Farron v Flintshire County Council

Published: 23/06/2023

A pedestrian who tried to sue the Council over a fall in the street is hit with a legal bill over £10,000.

Flintshire County Council is set to recoup all their legal costs which they had incurred in defending a personal injury claim after a court found a pothole claim was ‘fundamentally dishonest’.

The Claimant sued the Council stating he had fallen due to a pothole in the middle of the road surface whilst crossing the road near to his home address in February 2021.

The gentleman claimed that his accident happened at 6 o'clock in the evening, but when he was examined by a medical expert, he said that his accident had happened at 10 o'clock in the morning.

The fall itself was an object of controversy with differing accounts as to how the accident is said to have occurred in various documents.

Despite claiming to have suffered pain to his ankle which he claimed was so severe he described the levels of pain as ‘ten out of ten’, the pedestrian did not seek medical treatment from either the hospital or his local doctor. There were attendances with his local doctor in the months following the alleged fall, but not once was an ankle injury mentioned.

The local authority admitted fault for the pothole in the road surface but did not accept that this had caused him to fall and required him to prove that the accident occurred as alleged or at all.  The claim was denied following which the pedestrian sued the Council.  The Council instructed solicitors to defend the claim, who presented the court with details of the contradictory evidence and refused to offer compensation to the pedestrian.

The matter was due to be heard at trial in January 2023, but three days before the trial, the pedestrian, without any explanation, withdrew his claim.  The Council had been put to the expense of defending a claim which they considered to be fabricated so were not content to leave matters there and applied to the court for an order that the pedestrian reimburse the Council their legal expenses.  

A hearing was held in June 2023 when all the evidence was considered by a Judge.

District Judge Roberts at that hearing found that the claim was Fundamentally Dishonest and ordered the pedestrian to pay the local authority's legal costs.

This result indicates to everyone that the Council, it’s insurers and legal representatives will not tolerate any attempt to dishonestly claim public monies.