Yeadon woman, 88, wins payout after fall on uneven road

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A pensioner has won thousands of pounds in compensation after falling on an uneven road surface in Yeadon.

Grandmother Jean Whitters, 88, was left with permanent injuries after the accident as she crossed Yeadon High Street in August 2012.

The road had been part of a £1m regeneration scheme two years earlier but it was later resurfaced again after complaints from councillors who described its condition as appalling.

Mrs Whitters, who fell on her face while using a designated crossing point, reported the accident to Leeds City Council. But she says the council initially denied liability for the condition of that section of road.

But now she has accepted a £14,000 settlement from the authority after it admitted it was at fault.

Mrs Whitters suffered two black eyes and a irreparable rotator cuff injury which has left her unable to carry out simple household tasks.

She welcomed the settlement but criticised the council for prevaricating.

“They knew their roads were in an appalling condition but yet they tried to deny it,” she said.

“They thought I was some silly old woman who would go away but they were wrong.”

Mrs Whitters said she would have been willing to take the case to court – not just for herself but for the sake of anyone else in a similar situation.

“I am pleased with the settlement but I am only sorry that it has left me with such an injury,” she said.

“They were just trying to get away with it – but it has cost them a lot more money than it would have done it they had accepted it at the start.

“They have given me an apology but it is 18 months too late.”

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “We can only apologise to Mrs Whitters for this unfortunate incident.

“Our roads are inspected regularly and in fact this section of road was inspected less than two weeks before Mrs Whitters’ fall. Initially our insurers took the decision to deny liability on the basis that it appeared that the defect had appeared after the last inspection of the area, and in those circumstances the council would not be legally liable.

“However after further investigation our insurers accepted the council’s liability.”


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