From collapsing table tops, to someone hitting their head on a lamppost sign and even an incident of alleged unlawful detention – Richmond Council has seen its fair share of compensation claims.

Data revealed in a Freedom of Information Request to the Local Democracy Reporting Service showed that the council has paid out £347,091.14 in personal injury claims since 2016. 

In that period there have been 253 claims, of which 31 saw payouts.

More than 70 claims are still in progress. 

The biggest payout was a whopping £100,000 for a table top collapsing on a claimant, while the smallest was £30 for a trip. 

Another notable claim was £12,138.25 for a “guardrail on vehicle giving way” which caused the claimant to fall.

Current claims in progress include an incident of alleged unlawful detention, a fatality during a cricket match, falling down an open manhole, falling in a hole in a bridge and a claim of deprivation of liberty.

Some less serious claims also feature someone hitting their head on a lamppost sign, sustaining an injury after getting off a bench, falling over a cone and trapping a finger in a door. 

The most common reason for claiming was for a trip, with 189 incidents in the period. 

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Richmond Council said:

“Making sure that our roads and pavements are safe is a priority for the council. Every year we spend over £2.8m on planned repairs and improvements. Last year our highways team carried out planned maintenance repairs to 46 footways and resurfaced 24 carriageways. Additionally, over £1.7m was spent on unplanned/reactive type maintenance works on roads and footways throughout the borough.

“Unfortunately due to bad weather, wear and tear and old age, sometimes people do trip and hurt themselves. In those situations, we fully investigate, repair the pavement immediately, and sometimes we do have to pay compensation.

“We ask all residents, if they are concerned about the state of any pavement, to use our online reporting form available at”