Woman, 31, tries to sue council after falling off a path while drunk on seven pints of lager

April 26, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A woman who tried to sue her council after falling off a path while drunk on seven pints of lager has lost her legal action.

Sophie Tacagni, 31, was walking home with her boyfriend five years ago when she tumbled off the edge of an unfenced section of pathway.

They had spent the evening drinking and her partner had decided to run ahead and call a taxi and she continued on her own using a fence to guide her in virtual darkness.

She leaned over to adjust her shoes and fell off the edge of the path – hitting the road below and suffering serious injuries.

Following the accident in Hayle, Cornwall, she launched a damages claim against Cornwall Council which was initially made one third responsible.

Her legal team said the council’s failure to put up a proper fence had seen her “fall into oblivion”.

But top judges at London’s Court of Appeal have now overturned the earlier decision and thrown out the case – ordering her to pay more than #11,000 in costs.

The council’s barrister, Timothy Petts, said there was no record of any accident ever occurring on the path before Ms Tacagni’s fall.

He said: “Fencing off the drop would have been a disproportionate reaction to the risk.”

The court heard Ms Tacagni drank seven pints of lager and a vodka and lime in a pub before walking home at 11.30pm on September 15, 2007.

They passed along an elevated, unlit, path near the B3301 when she fell – and her legal  case argued the edge of the path was a “trap”.

But Lord Justice McCombe said: “The evidence did not in any way support the finding that the council was unreasonable and failed to guard against an accident occurring which was highly likely.”

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