BY JAMES TWOMEY
A woman who claims to have lost the use of her left arm after she tripped over an exposed corner of a fire hydrant cover has been told she will not receive any compensation.
Bernadette Blow, 75, from Streatham Vale says she was walking down Longmead Road in Tooting in September 2017 when she tripped over an exposed edge of a fire hydrant cover and broke her arm and shoulder.
She claims that her left arm is now permanently damaged and that she requires the help of a carer to perform simple tasks such as tying her shoe laces or washing in the shower.
“I used to be very independent. I do get very upset now,” said Bernadette. “I’m left handed and it was my left shoulder so it has been very bad.
“My arm will never be the same and my right knee is also damaged from the fall.
“It happened four days before my son’s wedding as well, which I had to miss.”
Wandsworth council, which is responsible for the upkeep of the pavement and fire hydrant, has refused to pay out any compensation as the fire hydrant was not exposed more than 2.5cms.
The fire hydrant has since been repaired.
Bernadette said: “The council said it’s supposed to be more than 2.5cms to be their fault, but I’m ever so sorry, I still fell and broke my shoulder on it.
“I can’t afford a barrister to take it further than I already have with our lawyer who was no win, no fee.
They said they can’t take it any further as they don’t think we will win.
“I’ve been to lots of different lawyers and they have all said the same thing. Basically they don’t want to fight the council.”
Bernadette tried to get compensation from the town hall and Thames Water, who both denied any responsibility.
Thames Water said it was only responsible once a local authority has reported a fault which did not happen.
A spokesman for Thames Water said: “We’re sorry to hear about this lady’s accident. It was fully investigated when she made her claim and Thames Water was found not to be liable.”
A council spokesman said: “This claim has been fully investigated which found there was no pavement defect that could have caused a trip or fall.
“The claimant’s solicitors have also excused themselves from the case as it has no likely prospect of success.
“While it is of course unfortunate that someone may have suffered any kind of injury, there is no case to answer here and as a result there can be no claim for compensation from the public purse.”