A council is facing a six-figure payout to a woman left disabled after she walked into a concrete post in a badly-lit subway.
Kirstie Hawes, 35, said she failed to see the 78cm-high obstacle as she made her way home from a karaoke night out with friends.
She suffered a serious leg injury and has needed a stick to walk since the accident in Harlow, Essex in 2008.
Kirstie said the underpass was so poorly lit paramedics had to use torches to treat her.
Six years on, a High Court judge has now ruled that Essex County Council are liable to pay her damages.
The hearing in March was told that Kirstie had been at the Poplar Kitten pub but had only had two half-pints of lager.
Judge Robert Francis QC said there was evidence that not all of the lights in the subway had been working.
He said: “It was foreseeable that persons unfamiliar with the area using or walking down the approach in a perfectly reasonable manner would fail to see the bollard until colliding with it.
“The council not only had the power to provide such lighting, it was under a duty to do so because it must be deemed to have been responsible for placing the dangerous bollard there in the first place.
“I am satisfied that there was a duty of care to take steps to render pedestrians reasonably safe from the danger presented by the bollard and further that it failed to comply with that duty.”
Kirstie’s lawyers confirmed they would seek a six-figure fee and if the figure cannot be agreed they will take the case back to court.