Leeds Council prosecuted for toddler’s head injury

A two year old girl suffered a serious head injury following an accident in a public place which saw a rotting flagpole collapse on her.

Leeds City Council has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after failing to act on warnings from staff regarding the state of the flagpole.

The two year old girl was playing in the Otley Memorial Garden with her mother in March 2012.

The 5.5 metre wooden flagpole suddenly fell on her and she sustained a fractured skull and a broken foot, having to spend a week in hospital.

It is thought that the child will need continuing checks at hospital for several years to come.

The HSE investigation found that in November 2010, the grounds maintenance staff had alerted Leeds City Council’s Bereavement Service, which manages the garden, of the fact that the pole was decaying and needed attention.

The warning regarding the poor condition of the structure was repeated in Spring 2011 which lead to the Council’s property team being asked to inspect the flagpole, but no action was taken.

In November 2011, an officer attended and agreed that the flagpole was in need of repair and phoned Otley Town Council. But, the town council had no responsibility for the pole so nothing was done.

Melanie Lidstone Land, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “This accident in a public place could have easily been prevented from happening if Leeds City Council had taken action on warnings.”

“As a result of a health and safety failure a young girl has suffered a serious head injury, and it is fortunate that the girl was not killed in this incident.”

The Council fell well below that standards expected and failed in a core duty to maintain buildings and structure under its control in a safe condition.

If you or your child has been injured in an accident in a public place, Melanie and the personal injury team are here for you to give free advice as to the possibility of making a personal injury claim.

We can act on a No Win No Fee basis.

So call Melanie and the team for free on 0800 0351 999