The local authority bodies for Cork City and Cork County Councils have paid out personal injury compensation settlements to the tune of €15m for slips, trips and falls since 2016. Details uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request has also shown that are many
slips, trips and falls compensation claims that have not yet been steeled by these bodies.
As of March 31, a sum of €1,144,594 in slips, trips and falls compensation claims has been paid out by Cork City Council for accidents that happened in public areas, including parks and public areas in council-owned residential estates. When compared alongside the same Jan 1-Mar 31 in the last recents years it paints a grim picture.
The figures were as follows:
- €129,626 in 2018
- €667,754 in 2017
- €782,035 in 2016
At present there are 455 unfinished personal injury compensation claims as of March 31, 2019 on the books with Cork City Council. However, Cork County Council registered 230 uncompleted personal injury compensation claimed during the same time period of time.
Terry Shannon, Fianna Fáil’s Cork City Councillor, a former Lord Mayor of Cork, says that the unusually high level of claims are due to a lack of spending in the public realm over the last few years.
He stated: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.”
In addition to this Mr Shannon said that Cork City Council has set aside €5m in 2019 to deal with possible slips, trips and falls compensation settlements.
Along with this budgetary measure the Council has also marked a separate €200,000 to “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.
Clr. Shannon referred to this figure as inadequate and said that is will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”