Poole man can’t claim compensation for pothole damaged car – because council planned to repair it

DAMAGE: James Fletcher with his car damaged by a pothole

DAMAGE: James Fletcher with his car damaged by a pothole

First published in News by

A POOLE man cannot claim compensation for damage caused to his car by a pothole – because the council planned to repair it.

James Fletcher from Lytchett Matravers was driving in Merley Park Road when his car hit a gap in the surface, which he says was so big that it punctured his car tyre.

James said that he was unaware of the pothole as the road was flooded from the bad weather at the time of the incident on January 20, 2014.

He said: “I decided to use the back roads to avoid the traffic and get home on my way back from Canford School, when I hit this pothole and it burst the tyre.”

He contacted Borough of Poole council about the incident, who referred him to their insurance providers, Zurich.

He said it took them two months to give a final response, which said that the council could not be held liable for the £35 for damage to his tyre.

In the letter sent to Mr Fletcher, seen by Daily Echo, it states that the council received a report of an issue in the area, and two repairs were arranged.

One temporary repair was carried out within two hours of the complaint being made, while a second permanent repair had been arranged but had not yet been carried out.

Mr Fletcher went on to say: “What they are saying is that if the council is aware of any defect on the road, they can refute all responsibility.

“It’s a huge mess.”

“The council did everything they could to absolve themselves.”

Gordon Lelean, Insurance Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “We can confirm that the council had received a claim in relation to vehicle damage caused by a pothole.

“The matter was referred to our insurance company and, after a full investigation, our insurers concluded that the council was not liable and therefore did not uphold the claim.”

Comments (26)

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12:24pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Hessenford says...

So the council who are supposed to keep roads in good repair and failed to do so are not responsible, sounds like a script for a comedy show, councils steal our money in every way they can and its so easy, not so easy to get money from them when they fail in their duty and cause damage to someones property, what a bunch of shysters.
So the council who are supposed to keep roads in good repair and failed to do so are not responsible, sounds like a script for a comedy show, councils steal our money in every way they can and its so easy, not so easy to get money from them when they fail in their duty and cause damage to someones property, what a bunch of shysters. Hessenford
  • Score: 29

12:27pm Fri 11 Apr 14

hampreston harriet says...

Exactly the same thing happened to us a couple of years ago so you're not alone, Mr Fletcher. The only money councils will willingly pay out is bonuses for their chief executives, and as for insurance companies - modern-day highwaymen who take money but give nothing in return..
Exactly the same thing happened to us a couple of years ago so you're not alone, Mr Fletcher. The only money councils will willingly pay out is bonuses for their chief executives, and as for insurance companies - modern-day highwaymen who take money but give nothing in return.. hampreston harriet
  • Score: 27

1:07pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Phixer says...

How much has that £35 claim already cost me, my neighbours and other taxpayers for processing and council time/wages? How much would it have cost us as a community to process and compensate the claim in full? 10x times the original claim??
How much has that £35 claim already cost me, my neighbours and other taxpayers for processing and council time/wages? How much would it have cost us as a community to process and compensate the claim in full? 10x times the original claim?? Phixer
  • Score: 6

1:12pm Fri 11 Apr 14

O'Really says...

Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ...
Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ... O'Really
  • Score: 7

1:25pm Fri 11 Apr 14

The Liberal says...

In that case, I can't see why the council should ever have to pay compensation to anyone. They can simply claim that they planned to repair whatever caused the damage or injury.
In that case, I can't see why the council should ever have to pay compensation to anyone. They can simply claim that they planned to repair whatever caused the damage or injury. The Liberal
  • Score: 17

2:04pm Fri 11 Apr 14

skydriver says...

I bet if it was the mayoral car the insurance would have paid out .
I bet if it was the mayoral car the insurance would have paid out . skydriver
  • Score: 27

2:20pm Fri 11 Apr 14

BIGTONE says...

They saw you coming..........BOOM
!
They saw you coming..........BOOM ! BIGTONE
  • Score: 1

3:17pm Fri 11 Apr 14

jinglebell says...

O'Really wrote:
Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ...
Depends on how deep the pothole - even driving slowly a deep pothole can cause a burst tyre....been there to our dismay!
[quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ...[/p][/quote]Depends on how deep the pothole - even driving slowly a deep pothole can cause a burst tyre....been there to our dismay! jinglebell
  • Score: 5

3:32pm Fri 11 Apr 14

speedy231278 says...

If they planned to fix it, it means they knew about, but it was still left unrepaired. Surely that make it their responsibility, unlike potholes that have not been reported?
If they planned to fix it, it means they knew about, but it was still left unrepaired. Surely that make it their responsibility, unlike potholes that have not been reported? speedy231278
  • Score: 10

3:33pm Fri 11 Apr 14

speedy231278 says...

Dear council, I'm sorry for not paying my tax. I planned to pay it next month....
Dear council, I'm sorry for not paying my tax. I planned to pay it next month.... speedy231278
  • Score: 27

3:44pm Fri 11 Apr 14

MCAME1989 says...

Insurers are Zurich... What do you expect?
Insurers are Zurich... What do you expect? MCAME1989
  • Score: 8

3:58pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Ferkster says...

So council, if i am aware of my council tax bill, does that mean i don't have to pay it? Typical council, never their fault! What do we pay council tax for?
So council, if i am aware of my council tax bill, does that mean i don't have to pay it? Typical council, never their fault! What do we pay council tax for? Ferkster
  • Score: 11

4:16pm Fri 11 Apr 14

billy bumble says...

It's because the amount is £35 - the Insurance Co know that they won't get sued for this amount

So the idiots get negative publicity which will cost them more than £35 - great business logic
It's because the amount is £35 - the Insurance Co know that they won't get sued for this amount So the idiots get negative publicity which will cost them more than £35 - great business logic billy bumble
  • Score: 11

4:16pm Fri 11 Apr 14

kenny73 says...

The council are at fault and have to pay, check this out


Highways Act 1980. c. 66 Part IV Enforcement of liability for maintenance Section 58.




58 Special defence in action against a highway authority for damages for non-repair of highway.


(1)In an action against a highway authority in respect of damage resulting from their failure to maintain a highway maintainable at the public expense it is a defence (without prejudice to any other defence or the application of the law relating to contributory negligence) to prove that the authority had taken such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic.
The council are at fault and have to pay, check this out Highways Act 1980. c. 66 Part IV Enforcement of liability for maintenance Section 58. 58 Special defence in action against a highway authority for damages for non-repair of highway. (1)In an action against a highway authority in respect of damage resulting from their failure to maintain a highway maintainable at the public expense it is a defence (without prejudice to any other defence or the application of the law relating to contributory negligence) to prove that the authority had taken such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic. kenny73
  • Score: 9

5:03pm Fri 11 Apr 14

TheDistrict says...

Dear Council,
I reported that my Council Tax Bill had not arrived, and yet you have done nothing about it. Therefore, I presume you do not want my council tax for this year, hence, I have cancelled my direct debit.

Your sincerely.

Oops, knock knock, ring ring................
........that did not take long.
Dear Council, I reported that my Council Tax Bill had not arrived, and yet you have done nothing about it. Therefore, I presume you do not want my council tax for this year, hence, I have cancelled my direct debit. Your sincerely. Oops, knock knock, ring ring................ ........that did not take long. TheDistrict
  • Score: 10

5:26pm Fri 11 Apr 14

loftusrod says...

jinglebell wrote:
O'Really wrote:
Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ...
Depends on how deep the pothole - even driving slowly a deep pothole can cause a burst tyre....been there to our dismay!
Same thing happened to my wife in January during heavy rain, along the track that is named Turbary Park Avenue.
As l was walking back along the road to retrieve the hub cap which had come off, two cars suffered the same misfortune and ran over the same pothole and suffered punctures.
The point is that the road wasn't flooded, simply that the rain fills in the potholes and makes them look like puddles.
If it wasn't so serious it would be funny. They can find the money to put pointless pedestrian crossings at each end of this road, but don't seem to notice that the whole road needs resurfacing.
[quote][p][bold]jinglebell[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ...[/p][/quote]Depends on how deep the pothole - even driving slowly a deep pothole can cause a burst tyre....been there to our dismay![/p][/quote]Same thing happened to my wife in January during heavy rain, along the track that is named Turbary Park Avenue. As l was walking back along the road to retrieve the hub cap which had come off, two cars suffered the same misfortune and ran over the same pothole and suffered punctures. The point is that the road wasn't flooded, simply that the rain fills in the potholes and makes them look like puddles. If it wasn't so serious it would be funny. They can find the money to put pointless pedestrian crossings at each end of this road, but don't seem to notice that the whole road needs resurfacing. loftusrod
  • Score: 6

6:22pm Fri 11 Apr 14

VAGINADINER says...

O'Really wrote:
Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ...
You don't have to be driving fast in a vehicle with LOW PROFILE tyres for a pothole to cause damage. A tyre with a larger profile has more of a cushioning effect.

(Ask anyone who suffers from back troubles who also drives a car with tyres of less than a 65% profile!)
[quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Um... the road was flooded but he was driving fast enough to burst a tyre on a pothole ... ok ... so that's someone else's fault ... right ...[/p][/quote]You don't have to be driving fast in a vehicle with LOW PROFILE tyres for a pothole to cause damage. A tyre with a larger profile has more of a cushioning effect. (Ask anyone who suffers from back troubles who also drives a car with tyres of less than a 65% profile!) VAGINADINER
  • Score: 0

7:14pm Fri 11 Apr 14

504gld says...

If your buying £35 tyres to fit a Skoda Fabia VRS (looks like it in the picture to me) then your a fool. I wouldn't put cheap nasty tyres on any car, its not worth the lack of road holding, which you have already experienced. Who the heck sells £35 low profile tyres anyway?

Apparently VRS = Very Rapid Skoda....
If your buying £35 tyres to fit a Skoda Fabia VRS (looks like it in the picture to me) then your a fool. I wouldn't put cheap nasty tyres on any car, its not worth the lack of road holding, which you have already experienced. Who the heck sells £35 low profile tyres anyway? Apparently VRS = Very Rapid Skoda.... 504gld
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Fri 11 Apr 14

hoppy says...

Why does anyone think that compensation should be paid for every accident caused by a bad surface i.e. roads or pavements.
Can any council afford to send staff around every road & pavement 24 hours a day to check if there are any holes.
Come on all you want is a payout.
Every accident or incident is now someone elses fault & never your own.
No win - No fee & because of that all of our insurance premiums just keep going up & up.
No such thing as an accident anymore it is always someone elses fault but never yours,my dear old Mother used to tell me whenever I fell over that "I should look where I was going" so true !!
Why does anyone think that compensation should be paid for every accident caused by a bad surface i.e. roads or pavements. Can any council afford to send staff around every road & pavement 24 hours a day to check if there are any holes. Come on all you want is a payout. Every accident or incident is now someone elses fault & never your own. No win - No fee & because of that all of our insurance premiums just keep going up & up. No such thing as an accident anymore it is always someone elses fault but never yours,my dear old Mother used to tell me whenever I fell over that "I should look where I was going" so true !! hoppy
  • Score: 4

10:35pm Fri 11 Apr 14

tbpoole says...

kenny73 wrote:
The council are at fault and have to pay, check this out


Highways Act 1980. c. 66 Part IV Enforcement of liability for maintenance Section 58.




58 Special defence in action against a highway authority for damages for non-repair of highway.


(1)In an action against a highway authority in respect of damage resulting from their failure to maintain a highway maintainable at the public expense it is a defence (without prejudice to any other defence or the application of the law relating to contributory negligence) to prove that the authority had taken such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic.
Ummm....I've just read that and have come to exactly the opposite conclusion to you. I interpret that as the council are not liable. Legal speak yes, but it does not support your argument.
[quote][p][bold]kenny73[/bold] wrote: The council are at fault and have to pay, check this out Highways Act 1980. c. 66 Part IV Enforcement of liability for maintenance Section 58. 58 Special defence in action against a highway authority for damages for non-repair of highway. (1)In an action against a highway authority in respect of damage resulting from their failure to maintain a highway maintainable at the public expense it is a defence (without prejudice to any other defence or the application of the law relating to contributory negligence) to prove that the authority had taken such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic.[/p][/quote]Ummm....I've just read that and have come to exactly the opposite conclusion to you. I interpret that as the council are not liable. Legal speak yes, but it does not support your argument. tbpoole
  • Score: 1

12:35am Sat 12 Apr 14

HRH of Boscombe says...

tbpoole wrote:
kenny73 wrote:
The council are at fault and have to pay, check this out


Highways Act 1980. c. 66 Part IV Enforcement of liability for maintenance Section 58.




58 Special defence in action against a highway authority for damages for non-repair of highway.


(1)In an action against a highway authority in respect of damage resulting from their failure to maintain a highway maintainable at the public expense it is a defence (without prejudice to any other defence or the application of the law relating to contributory negligence) to prove that the authority had taken such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic.
Ummm....I've just read that and have come to exactly the opposite conclusion to you. I interpret that as the council are not liable. Legal speak yes, but it does not support your argument.
They obviously didn't do what was 'reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway' did they?
.
They say they made a temp fix but did they? If they did it wasn't what was 'reasonably required' otherwise this gentleman's tyre wouldn't have burst driving down the road.
.
No surprise though. Failure seems to pay well if you work for the council.
[quote][p][bold]tbpoole[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kenny73[/bold] wrote: The council are at fault and have to pay, check this out Highways Act 1980. c. 66 Part IV Enforcement of liability for maintenance Section 58. 58 Special defence in action against a highway authority for damages for non-repair of highway. (1)In an action against a highway authority in respect of damage resulting from their failure to maintain a highway maintainable at the public expense it is a defence (without prejudice to any other defence or the application of the law relating to contributory negligence) to prove that the authority had taken such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic.[/p][/quote]Ummm....I've just read that and have come to exactly the opposite conclusion to you. I interpret that as the council are not liable. Legal speak yes, but it does not support your argument.[/p][/quote]They obviously didn't do what was 'reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway' did they? . They say they made a temp fix but did they? If they did it wasn't what was 'reasonably required' otherwise this gentleman's tyre wouldn't have burst driving down the road. . No surprise though. Failure seems to pay well if you work for the council. HRH of Boscombe
  • Score: -1

6:45am Sat 12 Apr 14

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

£35? Are you serious? This goon must have wasted a whole lot more taxpayers money than that. Plus anyone that puts tyres that cheap on a car deserves trouble.
£35? Are you serious? This goon must have wasted a whole lot more taxpayers money than that. Plus anyone that puts tyres that cheap on a car deserves trouble. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: 4

12:50pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Peroni says...

If they are saying that they won't pay because they were aware about the damaged road .
Then surely he could claim that no notice was put on road that the surface was poor .If they know about damage surely they have to pre warn motorists of the danger that lies ahead !
Take them to the small claims court.
If they are saying that they won't pay because they were aware about the damaged road . Then surely he could claim that no notice was put on road that the surface was poor .If they know about damage surely they have to pre warn motorists of the danger that lies ahead ! Take them to the small claims court. Peroni
  • Score: 1

1:50pm Sat 12 Apr 14

speedy231278 says...

Erm, £35 damage to the tyre. Not £35 for a new tyre. The article says it caused a puncture, so I make the assumption that the tyre caught the edge of the pothole and a sharp edge put a hole in the tread rather than slashed it open. £35 is probably the cost of having the tyre demounted, drilled, plugged and refitted. £35 won't even buy a crappy tyre for my missus' Metro, never mind a crappy one for something a lot larger!
Erm, £35 damage to the tyre. Not £35 for a new tyre. The article says it caused a puncture, so I make the assumption that the tyre caught the edge of the pothole and a sharp edge put a hole in the tread rather than slashed it open. £35 is probably the cost of having the tyre demounted, drilled, plugged and refitted. £35 won't even buy a crappy tyre for my missus' Metro, never mind a crappy one for something a lot larger! speedy231278
  • Score: -2

4:57pm Sat 12 Apr 14

spooki says...

speedy231278 wrote:
If they planned to fix it, it means they knew about, but it was still left unrepaired. Surely that make it their responsibility, unlike potholes that have not been reported?
That's what I thought!
[quote][p][bold]speedy231278[/bold] wrote: If they planned to fix it, it means they knew about, but it was still left unrepaired. Surely that make it their responsibility, unlike potholes that have not been reported?[/p][/quote]That's what I thought! spooki
  • Score: 1

5:50pm Sun 13 Apr 14

KitCat2704 says...

so the council told this man he cant claim because they planned to repair the pothole but when i put in my claim after a similar incident they have told me they wont pay because they weren't aware of it!!!

Im off to citizens advice - perhaps they will have a less biased view than the councils internal claims department!
so the council told this man he cant claim because they planned to repair the pothole but when i put in my claim after a similar incident they have told me they wont pay because they weren't aware of it!!! Im off to citizens advice - perhaps they will have a less biased view than the councils internal claims department! KitCat2704
  • Score: 0

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