Streatham woman who tripped over exposed corner of fire hydrant cover refused compensation: ‘I’ve lost the use of left arm after fall’


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.

Pictures taken by Bernadette’s daughter

“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.”

7 thoughts on “Streatham woman who tripped over exposed corner of fire hydrant cover refused compensation: ‘I’ve lost the use of left arm after fall’

  • 2nd November 2019 at 10:55 am

    Disgusting treatment of a pensioner that has had her independence taken away by no fault of her own. Makes me sick to think that these faceless organisations can get away with not facing up to their responsibilities by a tiny technicality. Shame on all of you heartless individuals who make up the rules to suit their own agendas.

  • 3rd November 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Set up a crowd fund on the internet,
    this world has gone disgustingly corrupt,
    I have been on the receiving end, of a injury claim which still haunts me to this day.
    I guess a mixture of politics & legal create the worst kind of dishonesty and corruption.

  • 4th November 2019 at 9:27 am

    Absolutely disgusting response from thames waters and wandsworth council!!!! They should be ashamed of themselves!! This poor woman has had her life turned upside down due to their incompetance! 😥😠

  • 4th November 2019 at 6:28 pm

    This is absolutely shocking. Bernadette is a dear long standing friend of mine and for Wandsworth Council to wash there hands of this is awful. To say the fire hydrant was not exposed by more than 2. 5cms to be their fault is disgusting, so why since this accident happened has it be repaired. Bernadette is now unable to do the simplest of things like doing up her bra, putting her shoes on, doing her hair. Shame on you Wandsworth Council and Thames Water

  • 5th November 2019 at 1:02 am

    To think that someone who has worked all her life,& her family,I have known this lovely lady, who has raised funds for various charities over the years, when she & her late husband Ray, used to run Country Music clubs, not for profit! Is now being treated very unfairly by by both Wandsworth Council,& Thames Water. It’s quite obvious that was an accident waiting to happen, if the fall had caused a head injury it could have resulted in a death, surely the council can re- consider this case, the repair to this piece of equipment admits there was a problem, otherwise it would have been left in the same condition, deemed safe! To me it looks like an admission of liability . Please Wandsworth Council have the decency to re-access this case.

  • 5th November 2019 at 7:25 pm

    How can there be no pavement defect that could have caused a trip or fall. if she actually fell, how can they deny an issue if they have been out to fix it..
    Totally out of order by Wandsworth council, the only surprise is that they never slapped her with a parking ticket while waiting for an ambulance. shame on wandsworth.

  • 6th November 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Absolutely disgusting treatment from Wandsworth Council to a pensioner that has had her life changed due to no fault of her own.

    I agree with Marti set up a crowd fund on the internet !!!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *