Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Family suing after Larbert playpark accident

Christine Campbell, Scott Jack and Lucy Jack
Image caption Lucy Jack with her grandmother and father in the playpark where she slipped and seriously injured her knee

A family from West Lothian is seeking compensation after their daughter was hurt at a playpark.

Eight-year-old Lucy Jack, from Linlithgow, was seriously injured after falling on a grid which locals say had been installed upside down.

The park was outside her grandmother's house in Larbert, Falkirk.

Cala Homes said it handed over responsibility for the development in 2011. Factors Hacking and Paterson declined to comment.

Lucy was injured in April this year, on the first day of the Easter holidays, when she was playing outside her grandmother's house.

She told the BBC: "We decided to play football outside so my big brother kicked the ball out so I went to run and I slipped over on the grate so I just sliced my leg open.

"It felt really sore, I didn't want to see it... I just wish it had never happened in the first place."

Lucy fell on a metal grate designed to stop dogs going into the playpark, seriously injuring her knee.

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Media captionLucy required 10 stitches in her leg after the accident

Her father Scott Jack said: "It was a very nasty cut - two cuts - and one of which we could see right down into the bone, so we quickly realised we had to get her to hospital."

Residents living around the park have claimed the metal grid and two others like it had originally been installed the wrong way round, with the metal ridges protruding up.

They also told the BBC they had previously spoken to the factor and the builders about the issue.

Lucy's grandmother, Christine Campbell, said: "I'm very angry actually, it's my granddaughter that's been hurt. I let her go out to play in park that I believed to be safe.

She added: "We also pay factoring charges for it so it's looked after, that's also to do with maintenance of the playpark yet in five years no-one has picked up on the fact it's got dangerous gratings."

Image copyright Jack family
Image caption Locals believe the grates were installed upside down with the sharp edges exposed

The playpark at the Kinnaird Park development was installed for Cala in 2010 by a specialist contractor, according to the builder.

Since 2011, the park has been entirely owned by the home-buyers at Kinnaird Park, with a management services company responsible for maintaining the common areas, including the playpark.

Lucy's father said she needed 10 stitches in her injury and has become wary since the accident.

The family is seeking compensation from the factor and builder on the grounds of negligence.

Mr Jack added: "I'm concerned my daughter's scarred for life but I'm also concerned about the safety of other children.

"I think the grates themselves have clearly been installed the wrong way round. It's not only dangerous but really negligent in my opinion."

After Lucy's accident, residents have turned the grates over themselves, with the protruding metal ridges now facing down.

Patrick McGuire, from Thompsons Solicitors which is handling the case for the family, said: "Lucy's gran thought she was buying her house from what she believed to be a top-end builder.

"What she got was a nightmare that will probably be with her granddaughter for the rest of her life in the form of a permanent scar."

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