Supermarket Accident News

Five-Figure Fine for Restaurateurs for Dangerous Flooring

A London-based restaurant chain has been fined £30,000 for having a hazardous floor, resulting in the injury of an employee.

Azzurri Restaurants, who trade under the name of Zizzi, are a well-known Italian restaurant chain with around two-hundred and fifty restaurants in the United Kingdom. Despite having a high standard of health and safety regulations, one particular outlet – on Belvoir Street in Leicester – has seen a series of accidents in recent times.

An investigation was launched into the safety of the restaurant after Cosmin Mihut, an assistant chef in the restaurant, sustained injuries after slipping on the ceramic kitchen floor. As a result of the injury, Cosmic broke his elbow.

The investigation found that the the ceramic tiling provided a hazard to employees, even if it was dry. They also determined that Azzurri Restaurants had failed to conduct a risk assessment of the floor, and as such staff were not informed of the necessity to wear non-slip footwear.

The restaurant were also found to be negligent in other respects; they did not provide their employees with adequate first-aid training, and staff were not made aware of an on-dut first-aider. Additionally, it was found that Cosmin was the fifth employee to sustain injuries because of slipping on the ceramic floor in the four months prior to the investigation.

Azzurri Restaurants were then prosecuted by Leicester City Council for their many breaches of health and safety procedures. Earlier this month, at the Leicester Magistrates’ Court, the company – based in Chapel Street, London – plead guilty to all charges.

Nigel Sudborough, the bench chairman at the hearing, commented that the company was lucky that no employee sustained more serious injuries because of the health and safety breaches. The company was then fined £12,000 for their failure to ensure the safety of the flooring in the restaurant kitchen.

Sudborough proceeded to fine Azzurri Restaurants £6,000 for the lack of risk assessments, another £6,000 for their negligence concerning first aid and ordered them to pay the council’s prosecution costs. In total, the negligent company had to pay £29,967.75 in fines for their breaches of health and safety regulations.


Elderly Woman Settles Claim for Sainsbury’s Trip and Fall

A pensioner, who fell and badly injured her arm and face after tripping and falling in a local branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket, has received a settlement of compensation.

Jean Annis, aged seventy-nine from Cheshire, was shopping in the Alsagar branch of Sainsbury’s when she tripped on a loose mat by the entrance. As a result, she fell badly and sustained a fracture to her right arm, damage to her nerves and injuries to her face.

Medical attention was called to the scene, but this didn’t prevent Ms Annis’ dominant arm being severely weakened. Five months after the accident, Ms Annis fell again, fracturing the same arm. Medical experts claim that, had she not sustained the first fracture several months earlier, the second would not have occurred.

Ms Annis has been advised by doctors to allow metal pins to be inserted into her arm, though Ms Annis has reservations. She is concerned that her husband, Norman (aged eighty-nine), will require specialist care whilst she is in hospital both having and recovering from the procedure as he suffers from dementia.

The victim sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for trip and fall compensation for her accident in Sainsbury’s. In her claim, she stated that her fall was because of Sainsbury’s negligence in allowing the mat beside the door to become loose, creating a hazard for all entering. Sainsbury’s admitted liability for Ms Annis’ injuries, and negotiations began between the two parties to settle the claim. Eventually, a sum of what is believed to be five figures was agreed upon.

Legal representatives for Ms Annis stated after the announcement of the settlement that “It is imperative that premises such as supermarkets take great care to ensure their stores are safe for visitors at all times, particularly the entrance and exit area which can become hazardous due to wear and tear caused by the sheer number of people passing through on a daily basis, and also as the result of wet weather conditions.”

“It is imperative that premises such as supermarkets take great care to ensure their stores are safe for visitors at all times, particularly the entrance and exit area which can become hazardous due to wear and tear caused by the sheer number of people passing through on a daily basis, and also as the result of wet weather conditions.”

Family Claims for Death of Relative against Hotel

The family of a woman, who was touring Edinburgh at the time of her death, has made a claim for scalding in a hotel shower against the owners of Premier Inn.

The accident occurred in August 2012 when Kalyani Uthman, aged fifty-nine from Bangalore, was on holiday in Edinburgh. However, then Kalyani showered in her Premier Inn hotel in Newcraighall, she sustained severe burns to twenty-five percent of her body. Just six weeks later, Kalyani died from multiple organ failure.

Medical experts determined that Kalyani’s organ failure was a result of the scalding she suffered in the hotel shower. Despite this, and other investigations carried out by the Edinburgh City Council and Police Scotland, the Crown Office did not conduct a fatal accident enquiry.

Kayla’s family, who were frustrated with the decisions being made and the pace at which investigations were moving, sought legal counsel and have decided to make a claim for hotel shower burns against the owners of Premier Inn, Whitbread PLC.

A summons was issued by Edinburgh’s Court of Sessions against Whitbread PLC. The first hearing is due to be held later this week – something that the family’s solicitor has called “a significant milestone”.

A spokesperson for Premier Inn has commented that “This is a very sad incident. Our thoughts are with the family of Ms Uthaman during what must have been, and which must remain, an extremely difficult period for them.”

However, Kalyani’s family have been critical of Premier Inn’s handling of the issue. Sundar Uthaman, told BBC that “It is an irreparable loss, given the love and affection she had for us and we had for her. It was something none of us expected would ever happen in a very safe country like the UK.”

Compensation Approved after Car Crash

London’s High Court have given their approval of a compensation settlement to be paid to a young man after he sustained serious brain injuries in a car accident.

The incident occurred in March 2007, when Jack Mitchell – then aged just seventeen – was riding in a  car as a passenger in the front seat. The car – a Fiat Punto – was driven by a friend of Jack’s, and in an attempt to avoid hitting a fox on the road the driver swerved and subsequently crashed. The police investigators tasked with finding out the exact circumstances of the accident described the accident as a “horrific collision”.

Jack sustained several severe injuries in the even, including factors to his legs, lacerations to his head and trauma to his brain. After the accident, he spent three months recovering in hospital, and a further three weeks in a rehabilitation unit before he was discharged and returned home.

As Jack was a minor, he made a claim for the injuries he sustained in the accident against his friend, the driver, through his mother. The friend’s insurance company conceded liability for the injuries, yet despite this admission Jack and his family were put under covert surveillance for the duration of the negotiations.

After protracted negotiations, a compensation package was determined between the two parties that consisted of annual, tax-free and index-linked payments and an lump sum. The package is estimated to be worth £4.3 million, though before the claim could be put to rest, the settlement had to be resolved by a judge. This is because Jack was a minor, and as such, a judge was required to review the settlement to ensure that it was in Jack’s best interest.

The case proceeded to the High Court in London, where Mrs Justice Whipple oversaw proceedings. She was given details of both the accident and any care Jack had to receive in the subsequent months. After this, she gave her approval of the compensation package and termed it a “reasonable compromise”. She also commended Jack’s family for the way in which they cared and supported their son, and wished Jack the best for his future.

Employee Compensated for Crushed Arm in Work Accident

A man, who works in a factory in Scotland, has received a settlement of compensation for a work accident that crushed his arm.

The accident occurred in September 2013 when Robert Faulds, aged fifty-eight from Falkirk, was working at the United Closures and Plastics bottle-top factory. However, the production engineer’s arm was caught and dragged into a printing machine and crushed.

Robert was rushed to hospital where he was treated for his crushed arm. He had to take fourteen days off of work as a result of the injury, and though Robert underwent an incentive course of physiotherapy and rehabilitation, his arm never regained full strength. When Robert eventually did return to work, the company claimed that he was at fault. Robert was then demoted from production engineer to machine operator.

The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation into the circumstances of Robert’s accident, and found that his employers had neglected to conduct an adequate risk assessment of the offset printing machine, in which Robert’s arm was caught. The agency said that it was in an awkward position, and that United Closures and Plastics should have done more to ensure their employees had safe access.

The HSE then prosecuted Robert’s employers for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Robert then sought legal counsel and made a claim against United Closures and Plastics for his work accident. The company were prosecuted at the Sheriff’s Court in Stirling, where Robert was awarded £125,000 in work injury compensation. The company were also ordered to pay £12,000 in fines for their negligence.

Robert, in a comment to the press after the closure of the hearing, commented that “The thing that upsets me is that all the way through this, they have put the blame on me. They said I did an unsafe act and had a flippant attitude to safety. The money will change my life because I will be able to buy a flat and look to the future”.

His solicitor also made a comment, adding that “Robert is a very hard-working man who was following instructions from his employer when he was seriously injured. He has now been left with a life-changing injury and his future employment prospects have been greatly affected – it is only right that he has been paid this substantial level of compensation.”

Mothers Seek Reform for Child Bereavement Compensation

Two mothers, whose sixteen-year-old daughters died in a car accident, have started an online movement looking to reform bereavement compensation laws.

The fatal accident occurred in November last year, when five people were killed whilst travelling along the A360 in Conisborough, South Yorkshire. The driver of the car lost control and collided with a Seat Leon that was travelling in the other direction.

Fortunately, the driver of the other car managed to escape the fatal accident with just a broken leg. An investigation was conducted by the police, who interviewed a third driver present at the scene, though no charges were brought forward.

Two of the tragic victims were Megan Storey and Jordanna Goodwin, both aged sixteen and lifelong friends. The girls, from Dorset, were described as inseparable by their mothers.

When a compensation claim was filed by the mothers of the deceased girls, each received just £12,980 in compensation as no-one was found at fault. The mothers’ solicitor described the compensation as pitiful when compared to compensation given in other situations, such as when the privacy of celebrity figures in breached.

Recently, the mothers – Tracey Storey and Cicki McCarthy – have begun an e-petition seeking change in current legislation for bereavement compensation. They would like to see a model similar to that in Scotland – where a judge can determine settlements – adopted in England.

“This is not about being greedy and seeking more money” Tracey Storey told a reporter at The Times, “as no amount of money can compensate for the loss of Megan or Jordanna. It is about the injustice of the way the system works”.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), who have previously campaigned for similar changes, have shown their support. The association believes that, not only is the compensation too low, but too few people are eligible to claim it.

With current legislation, only legal spouses, civil partners, and parents of children aged under eighteen can claim bereavement compensation – no other group is allowed.


Woman Compensated for Oversea Holiday Illness

A holidaymaker, who contracted irritable bowel syndrome after a Christmas holiday in Egypt, has been awarded a settlement of compensation for her illness.

Clare Maidment, aged twenty-seven from Washington in Tyne and Wear, went on holiday to Hauza Beach Resort in Sharm-el-Sheik with her partner, Nathan Hawkins, in December 2010. However, just a few days after the couple arrived at the resort, both of the holidaymakers started experiencing symptoms such as diarrhoea, illness and stomach cramps.

Though Nathan’s illness was not too severe, Clare had to make several visits to the resort’s doctor. At one stage, she was administered fluids through an IV drip to help alleviate her dehydration.

Even after her return to England, Clare continued experiencing her illness. She was then diagnosed with post-infective irritable bowel syndrome. As she was receiving treatment, Clare sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim against Freedom Travel Group, the organisation through which she organised her Egyptian holiday.

In her legal action, Clare alleged that the resort had substandard hygiene. She claimed that the food in the hotel was served lukewarm and was left uncovered for hours in the heat. Clare also alleged that the public toilet facilities available for guests were not cleaned adequately.

However, liability for Clare’s illness was denied by the tour operators. As such, a date was set in court such that a judge could determine liability and settle the case. Yet three weeks before the court hearing, Freedom Travel made an offer of compensation. Clare, acting on her solicitor’s advice, accepted the offer.

Clare, speaking after the settlement of her holiday illness claim, told the local press that “I’ve had an absolutely horrible time with my symptoms, both while I was in Egypt and since I’ve come back home. Some of the medical tests I’ve been through have been awful and my diagnosis just added insult to injury. Now a settlement has been secured I will finally be able to move on from what I went through and the impact it has had on my day-to-day life.”

Families Start Investigation after Holiday Coach Accident

Two Lancashire families have told their solicitor to lodge an injury compensation claim for a coach crash whilst they were on holiday.

The two families in question – the Hannah family from Ormskirk and the Rothwell-Bowness family from Aughtin – were travelling from the La Rosière ski resort in the south-east of France to the Chambéry Airport on the 4th January 2015 when the crash occurred. The vehicle let the road and overturned, coming to rest against a guard rail that prevented the vehicle from dropping down into a ravine below.

An investigation is still being carried out by the French police. The parents of both families sustained grave injuries in the near-fatal accident, though the children escaped the coach having just sustained minor injuries. Even so, each of the thirty-two passengers that were travelling on the coach were considered lucky to leave the scene with their lives.

Katie Hannah, forty, had to undergo an operation to remove glass that had become embedded in her right arm, as well as sustaining heavy bruising and other cuts. The scarring to her body is likely to be permanent, and she has suffered severe emotional trauma. Mrs Hannah’s husband, Gary (forty-four) sustained nerve damage to his right shoulder and is still receiving treatment. It is still uncertain as to whether or not he will regain full use of the limb.

Sarah Rothwell-Bowness (forty-two) broke her wrist in the accident, as well as suffering many cuts to her right arm. She has had many operations in both England and France in an attempt to heal the damage, and she will have further surgeries later in the year to remove the pins in her arm. She, too, may never regain full use of the limb.

The families have hired a solicitor to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash. If it is discovered that the driver made an error that caused the accident, they will be able to make a claim against Esprit Holidays, the company with which they booked the trip.

Mrs Rothwell-Bowness has stated that “We had a great trip in France but the day of the crash has to be one of the worst of my life. We all simply want to know what happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The last few months have been the most difficult time of my life and I would not want anyone to have to face what I’ve been through.”


Holidaymaker Awarded Compensation for Accident at Poolside

A man from County Antrim has been awarded compensation in excess of €40,000 (approximately £28,700) by the Dublin High Court after an accident by the poolside whilst he was on holiday.

The accident occurred on the 29th August when Vincent Reid, seventy-two of Lisburn in County Armagh was on a week-long package holiday at the Hotel Savoy Palace in Lake Garda, Italy. On the fourth day of his getaway, Mr Reid had just sat down on his lounger by the pool with the intent of relaxing and reading his paper. As he went to recline, the middle finger on his right hand was caught in the lounger’s arm and the tip of his finger was sliced off. Mr Reid sought emergency medical treatment at Lake Garda’s local hospital. His finger remained in a protective splint upon his return to his native Northern Ireland.

Mr Reid subsequently made a compensation claim against the Dublin travel company Topflight Ltd, which which the holiday was booked. The claim for the poolside accident was made through the Injuries Board. Yet the company denied any liability for the injury to Mr Reid’s finger, and the claim lodged by Mr Reid was moved to the High Court.

The hearing, overseen by Mr Justice Michael Hanna, heard Topflight Ltd’s representatives argue the injury that occurred to Mr Reid was not predictable, and that mechanism that enabled the chair to recline should have been locked in place before the victim attempted to recline. Yet Judge Hanna did not accept the unforeseeability of the incident, stating that if the sun lounger could collapse lest the mechanism be securely locked, this should have been known by staff at the hotel. The judge also heard of a similar incident to another Irish holidaymaker at the hotel but a few days earlier.

Judge Hanna ruled in favour of Mr Reid, finding Topflight Ltd was liable for the accident under the Irish Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act of 1995. Mr Reid was awarded €40,796 in compensation after hearing of Mr Reid’s ongoing pain and limited mobility in his digit.

Judge Awards Claimant Compensation After Injury at Health Club

A judge in a Dublin court has awarded the hotel supervisor, aged thirty, €30,000 in compensation for the injuries she sustained at a health club.

The incident occurred on 13th November, 2011 when Timea Babos was at the West Wood Club in Dublin. Having just emerged from the sauna, Ms Babos had decided to go for a swim. She was an accomplished swimmer, and dove straight into the pool – not realising that it was only a depth of 1.35 metres (approximately four feet). As a result, Ms Babos smacked her face off the bottom of the pool and broke her two front teeth.

Ms Babos reported her accident to the reception desk before rushing to attend an evening appointment at her doctor’s surgery. She was bleeding heavily, and in much pain, but her doctor managed to stop the bleeding and set her on a course of painkillers. Ms Babos then travelled to Hungary to get crowns on her two broken teeth. Ms Babos then sought legal counsel on her return home, and made a compensation claim against the health club for the injuries she suffered there.

Ms Babos alleged that, in their failure to have a lifeguard posted on duty and for not have adequate signage indicating the depth of the pool, the health club her negligent and thus liable for her injuries. She said that the pool was usually a uniform depth throughout, and this meant that there should have been some indication to guests that it was not safe to dive into the pool.

The health club denied that they were completely responsible for Ms Babos’ injuries. They states that, as a competent and experienced swimmer, she should have known to check the depth of the water before taking her dive. Total liability was declined, and as a result the Injuries Board awarded Ms Babos with an authorisation to follow her claim through the courts.

The was was overseen by Judge Jacqueline Linnane. At the hearing, the West Wood Club stated that Ms Babos had not chosen a safe method of entering the pool. Evidence was also heard from a forensic witness that stated that there was not adequate markings on the pool’s edge to warn of its depth, and attested to the lack of supervision. Judge Linnane dismissed claims that Ms Babos held some accountability for her injuries and awarded her €30,000 in compensation for her injuries at the health club.