A woman whose trip to a recycling bottle bank resulted in a bad injury to her leg has won compensation after the local authority, the London Borough of Lewisham, admitted liability for her accident. With the help of her husband's union, PCS, and Thompsons Solicitors, the claimant, 46, of Melfield Gardens in South East London, secured compensation of £7,000.

The accident occurred when, in March 2004, the claimant took a small box of clear and green bottles to public banks on Westwood Hill, Upper Sydenham. Having deposited the clear bottles in one of the banks, she turned to her right to walk to the green bottle bank and her foot entered a large pothole causing her to fall heavily. The medical evidence confirmed that the claimant had suffered a leg injury and aggravation of a pre-existing knee condition.

Husband's Union Support Compensation Claim

Although the claimant doesn't work, she was able to seek compensation through her husband's union, PCS who passed the case onto Thompsons Solicitors.

Acting for the claimant, her personal injury lawyer at Thompsons Solicitors Angela Smart, said: "A gesture of goodwill ended disastrously for her, suffering instead from the pain and disability of a leg injury. The Borough of Lewisham owed a duty of care to ensure that people using the bottle banks were free from any danger of injury."

The borough admitted that it was largely responsible for the accident and eventually made an offer to settle the case.

Commenting, the claimant said: "I'm a keen recycler and have always tried to do my bit for the environment. I didn't expect though to end up with a bad leg injury as a result of my contribution. It's made me think twice about how public access points are maintained. I'm grateful for the specialist support provided by Thompsons in helping me to receive compensation which is higher than that initially offered by the Borough."