Pocock v The Highland Council [2017] CSOH 40

Baron Taylor Street in Inverness, where Mr Pocock's accident took place

Mr Pocock was walking through the town centre of Inverness when he tripped on an uneven paving slab, injuring his left knee.

As a result of the injury, his work and daily life were severely impacted and he required assistance from his wife and other family members in carrying out basic activities. This in turn caused strained relations between Mr Pocock and his family.

Mr Pocock raised an action against the Highland Council submitting that the Council had exhibited negligent conduct by failing to repair the uneven paving prior to his accident.

The Council had known about the uneven paving for some 6 weeks before the accident in question and the nature of the hazard was such, Mr Pocock claimed, that action should have been taken within (at most) 21 days.

The case was unsuccessful.

Mr Pocock was unable to establish that a Roads Authority of ordinary competence exercising reasonable care would have acted any differently to Highland Council.

On the issue of contributory negligence, however, it was concluded that an individual exercising reasonable care for his own safety would not necessarily have noticed and avoided the hazard which Mr Pocock fell victim to.

Therefore had liability been established, Mr Pocock would not have been held to have been at fault to any degree.

A link to the full decision can be found here.

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