City Council forced to pay €500k in tree roots footpaths insurance claims

By Maurice Garvey

DUBLIN City Council were forced to stump up close to €500,000 in payouts after people made claims in relation to tree roots lifting footpaths in the South Central area in 2016.

Figures supplied to Independent Councillor Vincent Jackson at Wednesday’s South Central area meeting, revealed insurance payouts for tree roots on footpaths more than doubled in the constituency from 2015 to 2016.

Tree roots lifting footpaths in Ballyfermot

According to DCC, in 2015 up to 16 claims were processed by the council’s claims department in relation to tree roots in the area, awards totaling €233,131.

This more than doubled in 2016, when 31 claims of a similar nature, led to €477,309 in payouts.

Figures for 2017 are not available, as DCC handed over responsibility for all claims to Irish Public Bodies.

“From my observation there is a huge amount of potential falls out there due to lifting of concrete sections of footpaths,” said Cllr Jackson.

“The request asked for a report on claims against Dublin City Council from 2015 to 2017 caused by lifting footpaths from tree pits in the South Central area.”

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: “In January 2017, Dublin City Council made the decision to go ground-up cover regarding insurance with Irish Public Bodies (effective from February2017) who commenced settling all claims from that date.

“In relation to the specific question asked, IPB does not hold the information to allow it to specifically identify footpath claims that have arisen as a result of tree roots lifting footpaths.           

“However, figures obtained from IPB for the year February to December 2017, indicate a total of 415 footpath claims across all areas of the city.”

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