12:56pm Wednesday 13th March 2013
By Bruce Thain
An Australian man has successfully won compensation after a fall caused by a pothole caused him serious brain damage.
Kyle Bullock, 38, had been walking down Lightfoot Road, Hornsey on the way home from a friend’s house in July 2007 when he stumbled into a pothole and fell heavily.
The fall caused him serious brain damage and Mr Bullock had to undergo brain surgery.
His claim was settled at the High Court on Monday after years of litigation. Mr Bullock will receive substantial compensation - the amount of which cannot be disclosed - from housing group Homes for Haringey.
Homes for Haringey had initially denied responsibility, but had accepted it had not maintained the road to a proper standard while denying the pothole had caused the accident.
In 2008 liability of the incident was settled, and was followed by years of litigation.
Solicitor Jill Greenfield, who represented Mr Bullock, said: "Kyle has fought hard to recover a good quality of life following such a terrible accident.
"It is truly shocking to think this could have been avoided if Homes for Haringey had filled these holes. This has to be the worst case of a pot hole causing such serious injuries.
“My client's life has been turned upside down primarily due to Homes for Haringey's failure to maintain the road surface. Such simple steps could have been taken.
“I do hope they have learned lessons from this. Red tape really must not compromise residents' safety."
Since the fall Mr Bullock developed epilepsy and has moved back to Australia to continue his rehabilitation with help from friends and family.
A spokesman for Homes for Haringey said: “We are sorry for the injury and distress suffered by Mr Bullock.
“Following this incident, we introduced a comprehensive maintenance programme on all Homes for Haringey estates.
“We carry out twice-yearly inspections of all estate roads and footpaths, making repairs as necessary. We spend £300,000 each year on maintenance as part of our efforts to prevent this kind of incident from happening again.”
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