21 July, 2015
District Judge Gardner
During a visit to a local swimming pool the Claimant sustained an injury to her foot. She alleged that whilst she was in the sauna area of the establishment, her foot came into contact with a loose metal strip on a step. A claim was therefore brought pursuant to section 2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
The evidence of the Claimant was contradictory as to whether she was coming out of the sauna or the steam room, whether she was going up or down the step and her written witness statement contradicted her oral evidence as to when she discovered her injury.
At no stage was the Claimant able to provide any evidence that the strip in question was loose; just that she fell, looked at the step as she fell and assumed that it must have been loose.
At trial, the Judge preferred the evidence of the Defendant's staff, in particular the evidence provided by the First Aider who was summoned to the scene following the accident. The witness for the Defendant explained that immediately after tending to the Claimant, she checked the metal strip first with her foot and then, when she found no obvious hazard, with her hands. There was no suggestion that the strip was loose. It was fastened by the surrounding tiles with grouting.
The Judge found that there was no evidence that the strip was loose, and as a result there was no need to assess the adequacy of the inspection system operated by the Defendant. The claim was dismissed and the Defendant awarded its costs.
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