Masthead Local Govt - Litigation

County council pays £1.8m to settle single pothole claim

Somerset County Council has paid more than £1.8m to settle a compensation claim arising from an accident involving a pothole in a road.

This has emerged from a Freedom of Information request made by a local newspaper.

The council said the highest claim it had met over the past three years had been ”£1,836,000 general damages to third party following an accident involving a pothole defect”.

The lowest claim in that period was for £11.99 for damage to clothing caused by overgrown brambles that had not been maintained.

In all Somerset’s compensation claims cost it £171,425 in 2014-15, £895,716 in 2015-16 and £2,137,167 in 2016-17.

The number of successful claims in each year was, respectively, 28, 33 and 31.

Somerset said the 10 most common reasons for claiming compensation from the council were: potholes, drains and gullies, erosion of roads, pavement defects, trees, manhole covers, water escapes, kerb stones, adverse weather and other defects.

It declined to describe the circumstances of the largest claims.

Mark Smulian

Lexis Information Hub

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