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Claimant loses compensation bid following seagull attack

Posted in: Public Place Accidents Shop Accidents 

A woman who made a claim after she was injured by a swooping seagull has lost her legal bid for £7,000 in compensation. Cathie Kelly said that she tried desperately to avoid the dive-bombing bird outside the Ladyburn Business Center in Greenock. With the belief that the owners of the building had not taken sufficient care of her safety, she raised legal action against them.

Mrs Kelly’s claim was rejected by a judge at the Court of Succession after the hearing highlighted that it could not know where the attacking seagull actually came from. Landlords Riverside Inverclyde (Property Holdings) argued against Mrs Kelly’s claim that it did not take care of her safety. It was heard in court that a nearby rubbish dump resulted in large numbers of seagulls nesting on a neighbouring old Victorian school building.

“Right for my face”

The court heard that when the seagulls have chicks, they can become aggressive and act irrationally. Locals said that they would sometimes use umbrellas when entering or leaving the building, with some nearby garages flying helium balloons to protect the cars from droppings. She said:

“I walked out the door and I barely got to the bottom of the steps and this gull came for me at full speed, wings outstretched, coming right for my face,”

When stumbling back inside the building Mrs Kelly’s shoe came off, causing her to trip and fall on the steps. She had to take two weeks off work because of the pain and distress she had suffered.

Mrs Kelly’s claim was rejected on the basis that the origin of the gull could not be known.

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