Telecommunications company negligent – homeowner falls into unsecured pit!

PUBLISHED 16 Jul 2019

Facts

Our client was a homeowner in a town on the far South Coast of the State of New South Wales.  He was walking back towards the rear of his property after having taken out the rubbish bins outside his premises.  It was dark.  As he was walking onto the nature strip, there was a pit there which had a temporary lid over it.  The lid was not fixed or pinned down into the grass.  The lid did not properly cover the pit such there was a hole created along one edge. As our client walked his left foot and left leg fell into the hole causing him to trip and fall heavily to the ground and suffer serious injury. 

Our client instructed GMP to undertake a public liability negligence claim against the telecommunications company responsible for the care, management and control of the pit located on the grassed nature strip area outside his property.  As a result of our enquiries and investigations, we were able to locate and determine the relevant telecommunications company appropriate legal entity and body responsible for the pit. We launched legal proceedings against the telecommunications company responsible for the care, management and control of the pit located on the grassed natured strip area outside our client’s premises.  It was clear from our enquiries that the defendant failed to ensure that the pit was reasonably safe, ensure that the lid was reasonably safe, that the lid safely covered the pit, that they failed to adequately inspect the pit and the lid, failed to respond to previous complaints in relation to the pit and the lid, failed to ensure that it was safely fixed and exposed our client to a risk of injury which could have been avoided by reasonable care on their part.

Liability was denied by the defendant.  We obtained a liability expert report which confirmed that the damage pit was not adequately and securely covered with the temporary cover to ensure a person could not step in it.  This could have been completely avoided if the pit was adequately barricaded to ensure persons do not walk into it and / or ensuring that the temporary cover plate installed over the damaged pit was adequately secured.  There were not thorough hazard or risk assessments of the damaged pit which were undertaken by the defendant.  The defendant did not review the control measures it had put in place to ensure that they were adequate in relation to the temporary cover plate on the pit.  The defendant was the principle contractor and therefore the controller of the sight and was therefore responsible in negligence for our client’s injuries, losses and damages. 

 

As a result of the accident, our client suffered a serious injury to his left knee and a complete tear of the body of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus of the left knee.  He was referred to a specialist and advised that he required surgery to his left knee and thereafter would require appropriate rehabilitation and retraining to assist him in returning to work. We launched legal proceedings in negligence against the appropriate legal entity responsible for the care, management and control of the pit in relation to our client’s injuries, losses and damages.  Full details and particulars in terms of the client’s treating doctors and specialist and the issues of negligence were provided in the matter. 

The court ordered a mediation between the parties before the matter proceeded to a full court hearing.  The parties attended to the mediation hearing and after several hours of mediating the liability and medical issues, the defendant was ordered to pay our client a substantial award in compensation for his injuries, losses and damages. Our client was very pleased with the outcome of the matter. 

Conclusion

If you suffer an injury as a pedestrian as a result of the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to receive an award in damages in compensation as a result of your injuries that you have suffered from that accident.  It is essential that you establish negligence against the other party.

In this case our client was a homeowner who was walking back to his premises after taking out the rubbish bins outside his premises when he fell into a temporary lid which was placed over a pit. A telecommunications company was responsible for the pit.  It was dark at the time.  As a result, he suffered a serious injury to his left knee and emotional consequences from the accident which affected his capacity to participate in normal social, domestic, recreational, sporting and employment activities. As the principal contractor who had the care, management and control of the pit was held liable in negligence for our client’s injuries, losses and damages.  Our client received a very substantial award in compensation damages as a result of the negligence of the principal contractor. 

For a free no obligation consultation, please contact our toll-free number on 1300 768 780 so that an appointment can be arranged for you to attend our office to protect your legal rights arising from your accident. 

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.