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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 11:45 GMT
Lawyer loses 50,000 slip claim
Gordon Jackson QC
Gordon Jackson is one of the country's top-earning lawyers
One of Scotland's leading lawyers has failed in an attempt to sue Edinburgh City Council for 50,000 after he slipped on an icy pavement.

Gordon Jackson QC, who is also a Labour MSP, argued the street should have been gritted the day before he fell in December 1999 and injured his shoulder.

But a judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled that he had no relevant case against the local authority.

The council said pedestrians had a responsibility to exercise "due care".

"We are very pleased to have successfully defended our position in this case," said a spokesperson.

Emergency services

"Every accident is unfortunate and the council does its utmost to ensure that the best possible conditions are maintained for pedestrians at all times.

"However, it is also incumbent on pedestrians and road users in adverse weather conditions to exercise due care and to appreciate that the council's resources for providing emergency roads services to cope with every single eventuality are not unlimited."

Mr Jackson, 56, said he had slipped while walking on the pavement at Johnston Terrace, in Edinburgh, on 15 December.

Court of Session sign
The case was dismissed at the Court of Session
He had to undergo surgery after landing on his right arm, sustaining a dislocation of the shoulder.

In his action, Mr Jackson said he had fallen on a steep hill which was reasonably busy in the morning with pedestrians.

He said rain, sleet and wet snow had fallen the day before he slipped, with a drop in temperature creating freezing conditions.

He argued that the council should have spread salt and grit on the pavements by 14 December at the latest.

Edinburgh City Council contested the action and argued that the case was irrelevant in law.

Not gritted

Temporary judge Gordon Reid QC dismissed the action after a procedural hearing, ruling that Mr Jackson's case did not appear to disclose any negligence by the council.

"The real reason why Johnston Terrace was not gritted sooner than it was derives from the council's policy of giving certain areas priority over other areas," he said.

"That is a matter for the exercise of their discretion.

"The council's policy is not challenged in this action. In these circumstances, he can have no relevant case," said Mr Reid.

Mr Jackson is MSP for Glasgow Govan and a high-profile criminal advocate.

The latest figures for criminal legal aid placed him as the third highest-earning QC after picking up 243,000.

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