Clr. Terry Shannon, a former Lord Mayor of Cork for Fianna Fáil, has claimed that the unusually high level of personal injury compensation settlements in 2018 and so far in 2019 are coming about due to a lack of investment in roads, streets and footpaths over the last number of 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.”
The local authority bodies for Cork City and Cork County Councils have paid out personal injury compensation settlements in the region of €15m for slips, trips and falls since 2016. This information was discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request. It also revealed that that are a good many slips, trips and falls compensation actions that have not yet been settled by these local authority bodies.
WIth the latest estimation, taken on March 31, that €1,144,594 in slips, trips and falls compensation claims has been paid out by Cork City Council so far in 2019 in relation to accidents that happened in public areas, including parks and public areas in council-owned housing estates.
Mr Shannon also pointed to the fact that Cork City Council has set aside a budgetary figure of €5m to deal with possible slips, trips and falls compensation settlements that happen during 2019.
In addition to this fiscal allocation measure, the Council has also put aside another €200,000 that is earmarked for an “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.
Clr. Shannon, commenting on this revelation, said that this figure as not enough for this purpose 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.”