05 April, 2016
Davies v ASDA Stores Ltd
Pontypridd County Court
The Claimant alleged that she was shopping in the bakery section of the store when she bent down to pick up a pie from the bottom shelf; as she stood up and turned to put the item in her trolley, her foot is said to have caught on a piece of metal racking which was allegedly protruding from underneath the shelf causing her to fall to the floor and sustain injury.
During her evidence, the Claimant gave details of the accident and physically attempted to show the Court her position at the time of the alleged accident. The Claimant provided evidence which had not previously been detailed in any documentation nor in her statement. She said that she did not see the racking before she fell, therefore the Judge questioned how she knew that it was the racking that had caused the fall?
The evidence on the whole provided by the Claimant was sparse and described by the Judge as "confusing". Although, it was accepted that falls happen very quickly, the elements of the accident simply did not ring true. The Judge avoided criticising the Claimant but commented to her that "what happened may not be what you think happened". The claim was dismissed.
At the time of the accident, ASDA carried out a post-accident investigation that concluded that the racking was not protruding prior to the accident and that the metal racking had snapped as a result of the accident. Gathering contemporaneous evidence can therefore prove crucial when challenging a Claimant's account of the accident.
For more information, please contact Sarah Davisworth.