Better Safe than Sorry


17 November, 2009

Edna Aspden v Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Another pleasing result for the Council when Forbes successfully defended an employer's liability claim at Trial.

The Claimant was employed as a secretary at a local Primary School. She sustained personal injury when she was returning a petty cash box to the safe located in the storeroom.

It was the Claimant's case that the storeroom was cluttered and boxes in the storeroom were stored in an awkward position preventing her from freely accessing the safe. She was required to place her left hand on the safe to maintain her balance and when closing the door of the safe she trapped her left thumb.

Forbes filed a Defence denying that the storeroom was congested and contended that the safe was not defective. Forbes defended this claim to Trial on the basis that there was no need for the Claimant to place her left thumb in the path of the safe door.

District Judge Shaw heard evidence from the headmaster at the School who confirmed that no-one has ever complained of an obstruction. He had accessed the storeroom and the safe without difficulty; he had no recollection of any hindrance at the front of the safe.

The Judge accepted the headmaster's evidence and was "satisfied that such an obstruction did not exist."

The Judge concluded that: -

"Whilst one must sympathise with the Claimant it was an accident caused by the Claimant who was the author of her own misfortune, therefore, the claim is dismissed." The Claimant was also ordered to pay Forbes costs of defending the claim.

For further information please contact Naila Aziz at our Blackburn Office, Marsden House, 28 Wellington Street (St. John's), Blackburn, BB1 8DA. Tel: 01254 662831.


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