Council in pothole stoush
A TOWNSVILLE man has slammed council for not paying for car damage caused by a pothole that had been reported to them as dangerous.
Burdell man Justin Beer has a $ 1000 wheel repair bill after the incident on March 12. He has since received a letter from council denying his claim.
But he believes a legal document contained i n t he l etter actually showed the council was liable.
Section 37 ( 1) of the Civil Liability Act states a council is not liable in legal proceedings arising because a road was not repaired or kept in good condition.
But section ( 2) appears to state the indemnity does not apply if the council had knowledge of the road damage ‘‘ which resulted in the harm’’.
The letter was signed by council’s corporate governance executive manager Geraldine Wood and confirmed the pothole was reported on March 9.
A council spokesman said the road repairs were carried out as soon as possible after a difficult post-Cyclone Yasi clean-up. But Mr Beer is furious. ‘‘ They acknowledged that it was reported on the ninth but they still said that because it was an excessive weather time they are allowed ‘ X’ amount of days to fix it,’’ he said.
‘‘ I had a meeting and I was told to look at the Act which says in normal circumstances council has t wo b us i - ness days to fix the road at Mt Low but I don’t care when they fixed it – I hit it on the 12th ( and) they knew about it on the ninth and they still won’t pay up.
‘‘ They said ‘ so we’re supposed to fix every pothole in this town in case you run in to it’.
‘‘ He said ‘ you have your own insurance, we have an insurance department in case we have been negligent’ . . . well this ( the council letter) states negligence.’’
Council said there were a number of parts of the Civil Liability Act 2003 that were relevant to the council’s belief that it was not liable.
But although it only mailed Section 37 to Mr Beer, a spokesman said other sections cleared the council of blame.
‘‘ In particular, other parts of the Act ( sections 35 and 36) set out that the council would only be liable when there had been a completely unreasonable delay in carrying out the repair, and that’s not the case here,’’ the spokesman said.
‘‘ Mr Beer was advised that council did not accept liability for the damage but he could lodge a claim through his insurers or lawyer which would be passed on to the council’s insurers.’’