Why should I foot the bill for smashed window?

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A MAN has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after his van window was smashed by council workmen – and insurers refused to pay up.

Flintshire Council groundsmen were strimming grass outside the home of Stuart McFadden, of Wellington Road, Broughton, when a stray stone was thrown up shattering the rear window of his Volkswagen Transporter parked on the driveway.

Mr McFadden paid more than £600 to have his windscreen replaced believing he could claim for the accident.

But now insurers acting on behalf of Flintshire Council say he has no right to compensation.

Mr McFadden told the Leader: “I find it absolutely disgraceful that I am expected to pay for something which is not even my fault.

“Common decency says if you smash someone’s window then you should pay for it.

“I am now down by £630 which is a month’s mortgage payment for me. It’s just not fair.”

The IT consultant, 34, was working from home when workmen knocked at the door to say there had been an accident.

He said: “I got the window repaired the same day because I didn’t want to risk my van being broken into, but then I was told I had no right to claim.

“If they had asked me to move my van before they started work I wouldn’t have minded so much but they didn’t.

“I am absolutely livid.”

Flintshire Council bosses told Mr McFadden he had “no automatic right to compensation” and referred his claim to its claims handling agents, Gallagher Bassett.

A letter from Gallagher Bassett to Mr McFadden reads: “Prior to strimming a visual inspection of the area was carried out with the intention of removing any objects that can be seen and are likely to be thrown up by the strimming when it takes place.

“It is unreasonable to expect an operative to be able to spot and remove every single object that may get thrown up.

“The incident with which we are dealing occurred without warning and could not have been foreseen.

“We regret to advise that we are unable to offer you any compensation on this occasion.”

Kerry Feather, head of finance at Flintshire Council, said: “I am fully aware of Mr McFadden’s claim which is being handled on the council’s behalf by its insurance claims handlers, Gallagher Bassett.

“Mr McFadden has been advised by Gallagher Bassett in detail as to why compensation is not payable in this matter and has been asked that future correspondence be directed to them.”

Gallagher Bassett declined to comment.

See full story in the Leader

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