"I can't sue for damaged hip as pavement not uneven enough"
PUBLISHED: 11:30 10 October 2011
»A care assistant who is losing up to £700 a week being off work with a fractured and dislocated hip after tripping up on an uneven pavement, has been told by council bosses they will not accept liability as it was only uneven by 14mm.
Denise Lytollis, 38, who was hospitalised for 11 days, was horrified when the letter arrived on Monday morning from Bexley Council saying it would not accept liability for the fall as the gap in the pavement was not an inch or more.
Mrs Lytollis, of Dartford, who is still on crutches and staying with her mum in Welling, said she was screaming in agony after tripping up on the pavement outside Bexley Grammar School.
She had been walking to the Danson Festival on Saturday, July 2, with her partner and mother.
A volunteer with St John Ambulance, who was returning from the festival, saw her lying on the pavement and came to help.
Mrs Lytollis, a nursing home senior care assistant, said: “I couldn’t move. The paramedics were trying to get me to stand but I was screaming out in pain. They had to give me gas and air.
“I fell down on my left side but I have dislocated my right hip.
“I don’t know when I will be able to go back to work. I saw my consultant last week and he referred me to another hospital for a second opinion.”
Mrs Lytollis went to see a personal injury solicitor but they would not take on the case because the pavement was not uneven by 25mm or more.
She said: “I feel let down by the council. I am on statutory sick pay, which is about £350 a month. They have not been sympathetic. It’s like they are saying ‘tough, these things just happen’. If an elderly person suffered the same injuries, they could die from the shock.”
A spokesman for Bexley Council said: “Mrs Lytollis’ claim was considered by the council’s legal liability insurers, who are of the opinion that no legal liability would attach to the council since the difference in levels was only 14mm.
“Although each case is treated on its own merits, in general the courts do not consider a difference in levels of 25mm, an inch, or less to be a hazard.”