Basket Holders At The End Of Checkouts Not Dangerous


23 July, 2014

Lewis v Co-operative Group

Forbes has successfully defended a claim at trial on behalf of The Co-operative Group. The Claimant sustained a personal injury whilst visiting a Co-operative store after tripping over a basket holder positioned at the end of a checkout. The question before the Court was whether the position of basket holder represented a danger to visitors.

The steel framed wheeled basket holder was positioned at the end of the checkout. It was not positioned directly in line with the checkout, but was set off to one side to accommodate a display stand positioned at the end of the checkout. The Claimant was at the checkout just before the store was due to close when he realised that he had forgotten to get some milk. The Claimant turned to go back into the store to get the milk and in doing so collided with the basket holder. The Claimant was aware of the presence of the basket holder because he had previously placed his own basket into the holder nearest the check-out shortly before his accident.

Does a basket holder in that position therefore represent a danger? The Judge concluded that it did not, stating that sometimes accidents happen and this was one of those things. He described it as an accident that happened when the Claimant turned in a hurry. He said it was unfortunate that he collided with the holder when he turned, but that did not necessarily render the Defendant liable. The claim was therefore dismissed and the Defendant was awarded its costs.

Forbes Comment

The presence of basket holders at the end of a checkout is standard practice in the industry. It is necessary for customers to deposit their baskets at the checkout. Forbes welcomes the pragmatic decision of the Court in this case.

For further information please contact Julia Krier on 0161 918 000 or by email


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