30 December, 2014
Bolton County Court - District Judge Manasse
The Claimant was a student at the College and alleged that whilst participating in a fitness class she stepped on to a mat whilst using a Stepper machine which slipped, causing her to fall and injure her ankle. The claim was brought on the basis that Wigan & Leigh College failed to ensure that the equipment was safe.
The Judge found that the explanation for the accident given by the Claimant was difficult to uphold as correct. He commented that it is hard to see how the accident occurred if the mat slipped to the left and she fell to the right with her left leg under her.
The Judge did not accept that the Stepper was more likely to slip when placed on the mat and therefore found it was not inappropriate to place the Stepper on the mat. The Judge continued to remark that there was little likelihood of the mat slipping to the side by reason of physics and the weight of the mat.
In conclusion the Judge found that the accident occurred as a result of the Claimant misplacing her footing and it, therefore, followed that there was no blame on the part of the Defendant. The claim was therefore dismissed and the Defendant was awarded its costs.
This case demonstrates the importance of good record keeping and detailed risk assessments. The equipment in this case and been fully risk assessed and checked prior to the class commencing.
For further information please contact Elizabeth Bower by email or on 01254 222411