30 January, 2015
Coventry County Court
A claim for personal injury was dismissed by the Court in this recent case for The Co-operative Group. The Claimant, a Warehouse Picker alleged that she suffered frostbite after being required to work in sub zero temperatures.
The claim was vehemently denied by the Defendant. The area of the warehouse where the Claimant was employed dealt with ambient goods and the Claimant was supplied with protective gloves. Furthermore, there was no record of the Claimant complaining of frost bite at the time of the alleged injury and she was unable to provide any medical evidence to support medical causation.
HHJ Gregory was of the view that whilst he was satisfied that the Claimant had probably sustained a frost bite type injury at some stage, on balance he could not be satisfied when or how it occurred and in particular, he could not be satisfied that it occurred during her employment as claimed.
The claim was therefore dismissed and the Defendant awarded its costs.
The success of the claim was largely due to the irrefutable evidence put forward by the Defendant. The Defendant was able to provide written documentation showing the exact temperature in the warehouse at the time of the alleged incident. Following a successful application to the Court the Defendant was also permitted to rely on temperature data from the Met Office showing that the temperatures outside dipped well below zero.
The case also demonstrates the importance of careful scrutiny of medical records where medical causation is disputed.
For further advice on similar claims, please contact David Pickford by email or on 0113 386 2684