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‘It’s completely ruined my life’: Elm Park man tells of how pothole fall lost him his livelihood

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 January 2020

Nicholas Hall shows the pothole outside his house that left him in crutches. Picture: Nicholas Hall

Nicholas Hall shows the pothole outside his house that left him in crutches. Picture: Nicholas Hall

Nicholas Hall

A man from Elm Park has been off work for a year after tripping in a pothole and permanently damaging his foot.

Nicholas had to have three plates put into his foot after tearing three ligaments, Picture: Nicholas HallNicholas had to have three plates put into his foot after tearing three ligaments, Picture: Nicholas Hall

"It's completely ruined my life," said Nicholas Hall of Mungo Park Road - where the pothole remains still unfilled,

The 58-year-old was working delivering magazines when he stepped into the pothole and tore three ligaments in his foot in January 2019.

He needed an operation and after a week in hospital, he came out with three metal plates in his foot.

The accident has left him unable walk properly or wear a shoe for prolonged periods of time and he is therefore unable to work.

The pothole measured slightly under the minimum for councils to have responability to fill it, at 7mm too shallow. Picture: Nicholas HallThe pothole measured slightly under the minimum for councils to have responability to fill it, at 7mm too shallow. Picture: Nicholas Hall

After going to two different solicitors to try and get compensation from the council for the unfilled pothole, it was discovered that in order to qualify as a pothole that the council would have to fill the hole would need to be 40mm deep.

The pothole that Nicholas tripped in was 33mm deep.

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"I'm so disappointed in the council, the hole is still in the road and they're not doing anything, it could be a child or an old person who trips in the hole, no one seems to care," said Nicholas.

A year on since the incident, Nicholas has not made anything near a full recovery and had to be laid off by his employer, double glazing company Crystal Windows.

"I realised they had to let me go, it's eight hours on your feet and I can't even keep a shoe on, they were very fair," said Nicholas.

"I feel like I'm going backwards, it's completely ruined by life."

Nicholas relies on his wife Jacki for support, although after being diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, she also now is unable to work.

Councillor Osman Dervish, Havering's cabinet member for environment, said: "While we sympathise with Mr Hall's situation, we will not be able to offer compensation, as we have no legal liability to do so.

"The council's insurers reviewed the circumstances of Mr Hall's claim, and while part of the road was uneven, there was found to be no reasonable risk of danger.

"Havering Council has a good system of inspection and maintenance and in the last year alone, we have already resurfaced and repaired over 22 thousand metres of roads, and fixed more than a thousand potholes as part of our £40million Highways Investment Programme."


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