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Toddler’s Falling Flagpole Injury Leads To Leeds City Council Fine

Public Liability Specialist Urges Local Authorities To Learn Safety Lessons


By Rob Dixon

Leeds City Council has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs following an incident in which a two-year-old girl suffered a fractured skull when a flagpole in Otley Memorial Garden collapsed on to her.

The toddler was playing in the park in March 2012 when the 5.5-metre wooden object suddenly fell, with a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealing that the grounds’ maintenance staff had informed the managers of the garden two years previously that the pole was decaying and needed to be addressed.

Similar warnings were issued in 2011 but no action was taken, with the HSE finding that Leeds City Council had no system in place related to maintenance requests related to the site.

Irwin Mitchell represents victims who have suffered serious injury as a result of accidents in public places as a result of safety failings, helping them to gain answers and also access to vital funds for ongoing rehabilitation from such incidents.

Alicia Townsend, an expert in this kind of public liability claim at the national law firm, said: “Time and time again we see cases when people of all ages have suffered serious injury simply as a result of safety failings which could and should have been avoided.

“This case is a particularly shocking example of the long-term effect that such incidents can have on victims, with the young girl involved hurt in this incident expected to need ongoing treatment and checks as a result of the injuries she suffered.

“We would urge local authorities to ensure that the mistakes seen in this case are not repeated again in the future, by ensuring the right steps are taken to guarantee that regular maintenance and checks are completed at similar sites in the future. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Accidents in Public Places

If you've suffered an injury that wasn't your fault, you might be entitled to claim compensation. Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Accidents in Public Places and Claims Against The Council or enquire online.