Shopping Centre Accidents
There are often complications with shopping centre accidents which delay the receipt of compensation when you have been injured in an accident at a shopping centre for which you were not to blame. Issues over liability, whether the shopping centre had an “absolute” duty of care at the time your injury was sustained and whether you contributed to the cause of your shopping centre accident or the extent of your injuries by your own lack of care are all points which have to be taken into account when compiling claims for shopping centre accidents. For the most comprehensive advice about claiming compensation for shopping centre accidents, you are invited to speak with an experienced solicitor on our freephone Supermarket Claims Service and have a free assessment of your claim for shopping centre accidents – in total confidence and with no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for an accident in a shopping centre.
The Equality Tribunal has released details of seventeen decisions that they adjudicated on recently, including the case of a female mortgage consultant who was allegedly sacked because she was pregnant.
Claire Keenan filed a claim for unfair dismissal against her former employer Stephen Kehoe trading as Mortgage Cabin after she had informed him that she was pregnant and due to go on maternity leave in July 2008. Ms Keenan claimed that Mr Kehoe had requested her to take a shorter break because of the workload and also to work from home while on leave.
Ms Keenan alleged at the Tribunal hearing that Mr Kehoe had subsequently told her that there was not enough work, and offered her a redundancy cheque provided that she signed a disclaimer releasing him from any further claims arising from the ending of her employment. Ms Keenan refused to sign the release and was promptly sacked from the role.
Mr Kehoe did not attend the Tribunal hearing but stated in a written submission that he had not requested Ms Keenan to take a shorter maternity leave nor work from home as he had employed somebody to provide cover in her absence. The Equality Tribunal ruled in favour of Ms Keenan and, based on her previous 12 months remuneration, made an award of 95,000 Euros.
Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester is building a reputation as the most dangerous shopping centre in England, with four additional shopping centre injury compensation claims having been made since Gweneth Bowler successfully sued the shopping centre in December 2011 after breaking her shoulder due to a slip on a wet surface.
Previously this month, an unnamed woman was awarded 3,700 pounds after slipping and breaking her ankle on the same access bridge between the shopping centre car park area and the John Lewis store, while three claims remain outstanding due to slip injuries suffered in the shopping centre car park.
During Gweneth Bowler´s compensation action in December, a City Council health and safety official had testified that the bridge´s surface was a slip hazard due to poor drainage and inadequate cleaning. The action recommended by the council – including the improving the drainage system in the car park – were put into place previously this year and no accidents have been reported since then.
Despite Highcross admitting liability for the two resolved shopping centre compensation injury claims, no comment was given on the outstanding claims for shopping centre injury compensation – including a severe injury to a 40 year-old female shopper who needed emergency surgical treatment for a broken femur after a slip in the shopping centre car park.
A 79-year old woman, who fractured her shoulder in three places after a fall on the travelator at the Dunnes Store in Dublin, has been awarded 30,000 Euros travelator fall injury compensation.
Rosaleen Hill had been at the store on 23rd March 2009 and was returning to the underground car park on a moving travelator, when the trolley she was using began to run away from her control. Trying to keep her control of the trolley, Rosaleen fell and was dragged along the floor of the travelator – breaking her right shoulder and severely lacerating her knee.
After receiving treatment for her injuries, Rosaleen file a compensation claim for travelator fall injury against Dunnes Stores, Gary Smith, trading as The Ashleaf Shopping Centre and Kessow Limited which runs the centre, claiming that the three defendants were negligent in providing a shopping trolley which was not safe to use.
However, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Jacqueline Linnane threw out the case against Dunnes after a forensic engineer testified that the shopping trolleys used by Dunnes were fitted with corrugated rubber wheels that locked into the groves on the travelator, controlling the travel speed. The judge heard that the trolley which was to blame for her (Rosaleen´s) injuries was fitted with smooth wheels and had possibly been placed in the trolley area by shopfitters working in the shopping centre.
Both Gary Smith, trading as The Ashleaf Shopping Centre and Kessow Limited were found jointly negligent and directed by Judge Jacqueline Linnane to pay Rosaleen 30,000 Euros in travelator fall injury compensation after listening to Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Paul Nicholson describe Rosaleen´s shoulder injuries as extremely painful.
An 11-year-old girl, who seriously cut her leg on a stand displaying cakes in a supermarket, has had her settlement of compensation for shop display injury approved at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.
The court was informed how Jade Earls had been shopping in the Cornelscourt branch of Dunnes Stores July 16, 2010. As she walked by a display stand for cakes, Jade caught her leg on rusty nails exposed on a piece of wood which was hanging down from the display.
Judge Alan Mahon was told that Jade susatined a ten centimetre abrasion and a four centimetre laceration which – although it had gotten better – lead to a permanent scar on her left leg. Through her mother – Fidelma – Jade made a compensation claim for faulty shop display injury against Dunnes Stores and the company responsible for the cake display stand – ABF Grain products of Grosvenor Street, London. This type of accident might seem fairly uncommon, but trips and slips in supermarkets are very common.
The judge was also told that Dunnes Stores and ABF Grain Products had admitted liability for Jade´s accident on a 60/40 basis, and that an offer of compensation for faulty shop injury amounting to 12,000 Euros plus legal expenses had been tabled, which the family were willing to accept.
The settlement was granted approval by the court.
The Circuit Civil Court in Dublin has approved a settlement of injury in toy shop accident compensation for the family of a little girl who suffered a head injury when falling in the capital´s branch of Hamleys.
Brianna Healy (5) of Ballinteer in Dublin, had the top shop accident in February 2009 when she was just two-years-old. The young girl fell and hit her head at the Hamleys Toy Store in the Dundrum Shopping Centre, and, as Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court heard, “split her head open”.
Brianna´s accident has left her with a permanent scar on her head, and although Hamleys accepted liability for Brianna´s injury her father Steven – through whom Brianna made the claim for injury in toy shop compensation – told the judge that the initial offer of compensation had been rejected.
Mr Justice Matthew Deery was made aware that an improved offer of injury in toy shop compensation of 27,500 Euros had been negotiated, and the case was before him for approval. After seeking confirmation that the offer was agreeable to Brianna´s father, the judge approved the settlement.
Tesco has acceped failing in its duty of care towards employees at their Warfield after an investigation found that Tesco accidents at work were not being reported to the Health and Safety Executive.
Bracknell Forest Council examined three separate Tesco accidents at work between May 2009 and March 2010 in which staff had been hurt and no report had been filed to the relevant enforcing authority.
Inspectors from the Environmental Health Department of Bracknell Forest Council also found proof that Tesco had failed to provide adequate training and enforce safe working practices in the loading and unloading area of its Warfield store – further placing employees at risk of injury.
Tesco accepted the charges made against the company and were fined 48,000 pounds after an official hearing. Bracknell Forest Council recovered a further 25,000 pounds for the costs involved with the examination and for bringing the compensation case against Tesco.
“It’s vital that companies stick to health and safety rules so their employees remain out of danger at work”, stated Bracknell Forest’s head of environmental health, David Steeds, after the Tesco accidents at work case had been heard. “Unfortunately, Tesco failed to keep to these rules and, as a result, employees were injured – quite seriously in one of the cases – or put in harm´s way.”
A sixteen year old boy, who sustained deep lacerations in his thigh when climbing over a supermarket car park fence, has had a shop car park injury settlement of 36,800 Euros approved in the Circuit Civil Court.
Michael Hogan was just eleven years of age when the accident happened in 2006 as he was climbing over a supermarket car park fence at the Firhouse Shopping Centre. He caught his leg on a protruding and unprotected nail, which tore a deep V-shaped wound into his inner left thigh.
Michael´s injuries were so bad that he had to have a double layer of inner flesh stitched together under a general anaesthetic and, although he has recuperated now, will be left with a permanent scar as a permanent reminder of his injury.
Liability for the shop car park injury was uncontested by the supermarket owners of the Firhouse Shopping centre – Colverton Limited – and Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that the defendants had made a settlement offer of 36,800 Euros. The judge approved the shop car park injury settlement compensation offer, ordering that it should be invested in court funds until Michael´s 18th birthday in March 2015.
A grandmother, who fell on a Christmas tree decoration and broke her thigh bone while accompanying her grandchildren to see Santa at Selfridges, has won her claim for broken femur injury compensation.
Joan Dufosse, aged 73, from Southampton, Hampshire, was visiting the London store with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren when the accident happened in November 2009. After seeing the children meeting Santa, the family were about to have a photograph taken when Joan was told by an elf to step back and towards a corner.
As she did so, Joan fell on a Christmas tree ornament which had dropped from the tree and fell to the ground. She was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a broken thigh bone and had to have surgery to plate and screw the break which, two years later, is yet to fully heal.
Joan made a claim for broken femur injury compensation against the company in charge of running the Grotto – Melbry Events Ltd – and at London´s Civil Appeal Court Lord Justice Rix allowed the compensation claim, saying that Santa or the elf should have seen the Christmas tree ornament. He also dismissed a counter claim that Joan was partly at fault for not spotting the hazard herself.
A final compensation settlement for Joan´s accident in Selfridges is yet to be agreed, but is thought to be in the region of 30,000 pounds. If no negotiated settlement can be found, Joan will have to return to the Civil Appeal Court in 2012.
A former Asda employee has been awarded 27,000 pounds in supermarket injury compensation after hurting her back when slipping on a broken egg in the store´s warehouse.
Irene Heslop (65) picked up her injuries in March 2007 while employed as a bakery assistant in the Hulme Asda store in Greater Manchester. Doctors diagnosed her with a suspected spinal fracture which left her not able to walk long distances or carry heavy objects.
As her condition got better, Irene asked that Asda put her on lighter duties in order that she could return to work. The company declined this request, and Irene continue to draw Statutory Sick Pay until the six month period expired after which time she received industrial injury benefit at 24 pounds per week.
After seeking legal guidance, Irene registerd a claim for supermarket injury compensation against the Asda store in Hulme which was supported by doctors at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. After carrying outtheir own investigation, Asda acknowledged that Irene´s lifestyle had been seriously curtailed by the accident and agreed to a 27,000 pounds personal injury compensation settlement.
A woman, who suffered shoulder and hip injuries when slipping on the access bridge to a Leicestershire shopping centre, has won a compensation settlement for falling on wet floor in a shopping centre against the owners of the site.
Gweneth Bowler was at the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester with her daughter when the incident occured in January 2011. The 64-year old grandmother was crossing a covered walkway which joins the shopping centre car park with the other shops, when she slipped on a wet surface and fractured her right shoulder and hip in the fall.
While recovering from her injuries, Gweneth wrote to Leicester City Council about the danger, leading the council to initiate a health and safety inspection. The inspection showed many areas where the owners of the premises – Hammerson PLC – were negligent in their health and safety obligations including a lack of cleaning to prevent the floor surface of the walkway from becoming slippery in bad weather.
After taking legal counsel, Gweneth registered a claim for slips, trips and falls compensation against Hammerson PLC and, with negligence by the owners already established, the claim was quickly resolved for an undisclosed amount.