A man who tripped and hurt himself near his Emerald Avenue home is suing Wodonga Council over the state of the footpath.
But the council says he should have been paying more attention to where he was walking.
Now 74 years old, the man was 71 when the incident occurred on May 14, 2016.
He was on Emerald Avenue near Ruby Street when he tripped on a Telstra pit, which was a different height to that of the footpath, and fell over.
According to documents lodged in the County Court, the man suffered what he has described as "severe" injuries, including cuts to his face and a neck injury, plus anxiety and depression caused by the injuries.
He claimed the council did not inspect the footpath nor gave him warning of what would have been a tripping hazard.
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"The incident was caused by the negligence of the defendant," he said in court documents.
"The defendant owed to all members of the public, including the plaintiff, duty of care to ensure the pathway was properly and safely constructed and thereafter regularly inspected, maintained and repaired and that any works conducted thereon would not create a stumbling or tripping hazard to pedestrians."
The 74-year-old is suing the council for the hospital and other medical expenses incurred at the time plus the cost of further treatment and compensation for the loss of his capacity to do domestic duties.
Wodonga Council has denied it did not meet its requirements to inspect the footpath and did not accept the man suffered a severe injury, arguing he was therefore not entitled to sue for compensation.
Lawyers for the council argued the trip occurred because of the man's own negligence and failure to pay attention.
"If the footpath was at a different level to the Telstra pit ... it would have been obvious to a reasonable person keeping a proper look out," the court documents stated.
"At all material times, the defendant had a policy contained within its road management plan, which identified the manner in which it would inspect, maintain and repair roads in its municipality including the footpath."
The council also argued that the pits are "non-road infrastructure", which it "has no obligation to inspect, maintain or repair".
The case will go back to court in April next year.