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A publican who says a trip over a manhole cover left him an irritable, unmotivated and disorganised shadow of his f...
A publican who says a trip over a manhole cover left him an irritable, unmotivated and disorganised shadow of his former self was today battling for massive compensation at the High Court.

Thomas Ball, 52, of Lynton Road, Southwark, south London, who tripped over the concrete inspection cover in south-east London on May 29, 1999, says the accident has had a devastating impact on his life.

And his counsel, Mr Harry Trusted, told the court the accident triggered a 'change of personality' which ruined Mr Ball's career and the nearly breakdown his marriage.

Southwark LBC admits liability for the accident but are hotly disputing the amount of compensation due to Mr Ball.

They have agreed to pay him £7,000 for his 'pain, suffering and loss of amenity' in relation to a knee injury he suffered in the fall, but are disputing other aspects of his claim.

Mr Trusted told deputy High Court Judge John Leighton Williams QC the accident had left Mr Ball suffering from 'outbursts of anger, lack of motivation, and an inability to organise his life'.

But for the fall, he said Mr Ball would have continued to run the Alscott Arms in south-east London until he was about 55, but his injuries meant he had to sell the business four years earlier than planned.

Mr Trusted told the court: 'Prior to the accident in May 1999, Mr Ball had coped successfully with the demands of the job. He enjoyed doing it and described it as 'the focus of my life''.

He said the 'change in behaviour' experienced by Mr Ball had led to a loss in trade at the pub, as well as trouble in his previously happy marriage.

He explained that since the accident, Mr Ball had been described by his wife as 'nasty, aggressive and violent' and as 'like a walking time bomb' by his daughter.

Mr Trusted added: 'This evidence demonstrates that since the accident, Mr Ball has become an entirely different person who is prone to frequent outbursts of anger, unable to manage or organise his life and unable to enjoy successful relationships with family or friends.'

The case, which is expected to last four days, continues.


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