Woman wins £100,000 Fall Compensation

A woman who fell outside her council flat home has been awarded over £100,000 in compensation from Glasgow City Council.

Although she has no recollection of the accident on the 4 May 1999, Agnes Wilson, who was 57 years old at the time, sued Glasgow City Council after she sustained a head injury and a compound fracture to her left arm, after falling on loose steps on stairs leading out of her high-rise flat.

Mrs Wilson had left her home in the block of flats in the Drygate area of Glasgow to travel to Gartnavel Hospital where she worked as a nursing assistant. As she descended a flight of stairs to get to her car, she fell, seriously injuring herself. Although she cannot remember how it happened due to her head injury , neighbours who witnessed her fall came forward to help her file a claim for damages .

In the claim she alleged that several steps at the bottom of the last flight of stairs were loose, and wobbled and moved underfoot when anyone stood on them.

The local authority had contested the civil action, claiming there was nothing wrong with the steps, and that Mrs Wilson should have taken more care on them. Lord Bracadale at the Court of Session awarded Mrs Wilson £108,000 in damages after ruling Glasgow City Council negligent.

The court was told that the last thing Mrs Wilson remembers before she fell was reaching the stairs which led from a paved area in front of another multi-storey block to her lock-up garage. A couple, who were waiting for a taxi, saw Mrs Wilson as she passed and nodded to her, then they heard her scream. She was found trying to climb back up the stairs with blood covering her head. The next thing Mrs Wilson remembers is waking up in the Accident and Emergency department of Glasgow Royal Infirmary. She had no memory of what had happened to her.

In court, neighbour James Saunders, 62, who also witnessed her fall, told the judge he had complained to the council on many previous occasions about the loose steps, but to no avail.

A compensation figure of £145,000 had been agreed before the case came to court in the event that Lord Bracadale decided in Mrs Wilson’s favour, but the judge cut this by 25 per cent for “contributory negligence” on Mrs Wilson’s side.

Since the incident in 1999, Glasgow City Council has repaired the damaged stairs.

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