Princes Street trip tourist sues for £40k

Jo-Ann Tiernan fractured her neck after tripping on Princes St
Jo-Ann Tiernan fractured her neck after tripping on Princes St
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AN American tourist who tripped over in Princes Street and suffered a neck fracture is among a trio of accident victims suing the city council for damages totalling £70,000 after being injured in falls.

New Yorker Jo-Ann Tiernan was in the Capital for a wedding when she tumbled over a slab outside the Boots store.

The 66-year-old claims the council was responsible for failing to fix the “unstable and hazardous” pavement as she launched a claim for £40,000.

Meanwhile, firefighter Roy Bradley is suing council chiefs and Scotland Gas Networks for £10,000 after hitting a hole and going over the handlebars of his bike in Bruntsfield Place.

The 43-year-old was off work for nearly two months following the crash, which his lawyers claim was caused by a failure to repair and inspect the road following streetworks.

South Queensferry resident Anne Hall launched her legal action for £20,000 at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after breaking her arm in a fall on an “uneven and broken” path.

Council chiefs today said they could not comment on the ongoing court cases, but said they took public safety “very seriously” and had recently approved £500,000 in extra road repair funding.

Mrs Tiernan was walking along Princes Street on July 29, 2008 when she claimed to have fallen over a loose pavement slab. The court heard that the slab was raised an inch off the ground when a pedestrian in front of her stepped on it, leaving the pensioner to trip over and fall to the street.

Mrs Tiernan suffered fractures to her neck, rib and elbow, as well as bruising.

Her lawyers said that council inspectors had previously noticed the “rocking element” of the slab, but failed to repair it. But council solicitors said that she had at least partly contributed to her accident by failing to watch where she was walking.

Mr Bradley, who lives in Gorebridge, Midlothian, was cycling on Bruntsfield Place on August 17, 2008 when he came off his bike. The court heard that the hole he struck was 200mm wide and 90mm deep, an “obvious hazard” which had been in the road for four to six months.

Mr Bradley, who was treated for a shoulder injury, as well as cuts and bruising, alleges that the council failed to identify the hole during road inspections.

Council solicitors blamed Scotland Gas Networks for failing to take “reasonable care” in re-instating the road after works, while the firm told the court that no defects had been reported prior to the accident.

In the final case, Mrs Hall had been walking on the Lover Loan path near her home on February 20, 2008 when she fell. Her lawyers told the court that she had tripped over a hole measuring 16cm wide by 7.5cm deep which had gone unrepaired for two years. As a council-owned path, they alleged that it was the local authority’s duty to maintain the walkway.

A spokeswoman for Scotland Gas Networks, said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on a on-going legal case.”

Mrs Tiernan declined to comment on her case.

The solicitors representing Mrs Hall and Mr Bradley were both unable to comment.