Woman who broke her ankle after slipping on ice in car park loses damages case.

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Woman who broke her ankle after slipping on ice in car park loses damages case. A woman who broke her ankle when she slipped on a patch of ice in a car park has lost her action for damages before the High Court. Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he could not say on the balance of probabilities that the subsidence in the car park surface where ice had accumulated was due to negligent or bad workmanship. The judge also awarded costs of the one-day hearing against the 61-year old claimant who sued the local authority. The accident occurred as she walked away from a pay station in a car park. Mr Justice Cross said he would be pleased if the council decided it would not enforce the costs order against the claimant. The woman had gone to the pay station which was on a raised concrete plinth and after paying for her ticket she stepped down on to the macadam surface when she slipped on the ice. She claimed there was a failure to ensure the groundwork was properly compacted before laying the tarmacadam. There was also an alleged failure to properly design the surface of the car park or to grit it. The claims were denied. Mr Justice Cross said the claimant had suffered a very nasty fracture of her left ankle and had to have an operation and had to have a plate and pins inserted in her ankle. The judge accepted the claimant fell on ice and that it happened as she stepped down from the plinth at the pay station. The car park had been there since 2003 and the judge accepted the surface was relatively new and it was designed so that surface water would drain off. However, he found as a fact that ponding had occurred, and he accepted this was caused by subsidence and the water had frozen into ice which caused the woman to slip. The plaintiff’s side had submitted the subsidence was caused by poor workmanship. Mr Justice Cross said there no question of contributory negligence on the part of the claimant. The failure to grit the car park, he said, was not a ground to succeed. Dismissing the case, the judge said he could not say on the balance of probabilities the subsidence was caused by negligent or bad workmanship.