01 June, 2015
Birmingham County Court
The claimant alleged that she sustained an injury whilst visiting an Asda store. It was claimed that she entered an aisle in the George clothing department looking for slippers and in doing so; she tripped over a metal bar that had been left lying on the floor of the aisle. The claimant alleged that there were no warning signs or staff members around to prevent her from going into the aisle or to direct her elsewhere, away from where the metal bar or the other items which were lying on the floor.
Liability was robustly denied on behalf of the defendant. The aisle had been blocked off by two George clothing rails; the claimant had moved the clothing rails and entered the aisle. The George Section Leader had asked the claimant to vacate the aisle numerous times, but the claimant ignored the repeated requests to leave the aisle.
At trial, the judge found that the actions of the employee informing the claimant that the aisle was closed, and repeatedly asking her to leave was sufficient to inform the claimant that the aisle was closed. The claim was therefore dismissed.
This case was a prime example of the importance of a thorough initial investigation and the value of detailed contemporary documentation, including handwritten statements following an incident of this type.
For further information please contact Francesca Garvey on 0113 244 6688 or by email Francesca Garvey