Auck­land foot­path falls prove costly

East and Bays Courier - - OUT & ABOUT - JACK­SON THOMAS

More than 1500 peo­ple filed ACC claims in the past year af­ter slip­ping on foot­paths in Auck­land.

In the year to July ACC paid out about $1.4 mil­lion on claims from Auck­lan­ders that cited falls on foot­paths as the rea­son for in­jury. Wet leaves, oil, moss and al­gae are just some of the rea­sons for peo­ple tak­ing a spill.

Data was cap­tured by ter­ri­tory and in­cluded Auck­land City, Manukau City, Pa­pakura Dis­trict, North Shore City, Waitakere City, and Rod­ney Dis­trict.

Auck­land foot­paths are man­aged and cleaned by Auck­land Trans­port (AT).

Mt Eden res­i­dent Fenella Tonkin said she slipped on dead flow­ers on Garry Rd about two months ago, break­ing her arm in three places. The cost of her claim was ‘‘be­tween $15,000 and $20,000’’ as of Au­gust 27 and was on-go­ing, she said.

‘‘I have been paid by ACC while off work, I have had home care three days a week and un­til I am al­lowed to drive again, ACC are pay­ing for taxis to take me to and from work,’’ Tonkin said.

Tonkin took to so­cial me­dia web­site Neigh­bourly af­ter her ac­ci­dent, ask­ing res­i­dents who had trees on their fence­line to rake up the dead and rot­ting flow­ers that fell on the foot­path, like those that caused her fall.

Tonkin re­ported her ac­ci­dent to Auck­land Coun­cil who re­ferred her to AT.

Kings­land res­i­dent John Payn­ter said his steep street was a slip­ping hazard also.

‘‘My daugh­ter slipped on a steel man­hole on the foot­path, she was fine, but trac­tion was wors­ened by a neigh­bour’s spill of some type of oil that was not cleaned up and flowed down the street,’’ Payn­ter said.

AT spokesman James Ire­land said fallen leaves were not the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the home­owner to clean up how­ever, he en­cour­aged peo­ple to help keep their neigh­bour­hood clean, safe and tidy by do­ing so.

Streets and foot­paths re­ceived ex­tra sweep­ing dur­ing the au­tumn months due to high leaf fall. Out­side of that time AT cleaned foot­paths as re­quested, Ire­land said.

‘‘If an in­ci­dent is re­ported, com­plaints are in­ves­ti­gated and dealt with as ap­pro­pri­ate. This could be in the form of sweep­ing, wa­terblast­ing, ap­pli­ca­tion of we­tand-for­get if moss or al­gae is present, or ab­sorbent laid if ve­hi­cle oils are present.’’

JACK­SON THOMAS/STUFF

Fenella Tonkin slipped on this foot­path in Mt Eden and broke her arm in three places.

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