Fife Council reject blind man’s compensation claim after pothole fall

Fife Council fixed the pothole after the fall, but has denied Harry compensation.
Fife Council fixed the pothole after the fall, but has denied Harry compensation.
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Fife Council has refused to give £480 compensation to a blind Cupar man with arthritis who was injured after tripping on a pothole.

Harry Moffat fell outside his then home at North Burnside in August, injuring his left leg, suffering cuts and bruises, and smashing his visually impaired phone.

He had asked the council for around £480, the money he needs to replace his phone, which allows him to phone people without relying on the help of other people.

However, Fife Council rejected his claim, arguing that, on two inspections, one before and one after Harry’s fall, “no defects were identified that exceeded the council’s intervention criteria”.

But just over a month after the second inspection, Fife Council repaired that part of the road.

Michael Fyffe, equalities officer for MP Stephen Gethins, had raised Harry’s concern over the potholes to Fife Council in 2018.

“I was grateful that they resurfaced the road, but when we put his claim in they said there was no defect, when there obviously is,” said Michael, who has been helping Harry since the incident.

“I’m distressed with how Fife Council has responded to this.”

Michael said the incident had left Harry housebound while he recovered and had had an impact on his mental health.

“He’s distressed that this has happened to him and Fife Council is taking no responsibility for it. If a member of the public has fallen, then there is obviously a defect.”

Martin Kingham, Roads Network Management Service Manager, said: “We’re really sorry to hear of Mr Moffat’s accident and we hope that he has now fully recovered from it. Our records show that at the time of Mr Fyffe’s report in 2018 we carried out a pothole repair. During inspections of the area in June and August this year, there were no defects found that needed immediate repair. Nevertheless, we decided to include Mr Moffatt’s street in a larger maintenance patching programme planned for the area, which has just been completed.”