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Garden Centre Work Accident
Customer Suffers Supermarket Slip

Customer Suffers Supermarket Slip

Susan was food shopping in a major UK supermarket when she slipped and fell on a wet floor. The aisle had recently been cleaned, but there were no warning signs in place alerting Susan to the danger.

On the afternoon of 18 March 2008, Susan and her friend Mary were carrying out their weekly shop in the food hall of Marks and Spencer. Together they turned into canned goods aisle and immediately noticed an industrial cleaner ahead of them. Nevertheless, there were no signs indicating any sort of hazard so they continued to browse the shelves.

Suddenly, Susan slipped and fell onto her back. Evidently the industrial cleaner was in use and had just cleaned the aisle floor, making it extremely wet and slippery. However, the employee in charge of this cleaning procedure had failed to erect adequate signage to warn customers of the danger.

As soon as she hit the hard floor, Susan began to experience shootings pains in her back, neck and arms. Feeling shocked and upset, Susan managed to get back to her feet and, with the help of her friend Mary, walked to the manager's office. One of the store's first aiders quickly came to her assistance, noting the incident and the nature of Susan's injuries in the accident hand book. These were subsequently reported to the Marks and Spencer Head Office.

After reporting her accident, Susan returned home to rest. However, after a couple of days the pain in her back, neck and arms had not alleviated, even though she was taking painkillers. She made an appointment with her general practitioner who carried out a number of tests before diagnosing cervico-thoracic dysfunction.

Susan was then referred to a local chiropractic clinic for treatment. Although this resulted in a degree of improvement, she remains symptomatic, despite two years having passed since the accident. She must take frequent medication to relieve the pain in her back and neck, which medical experts say will continue in the long-run. It is likely, therefore, that Susan will never fully recover from her injuries.

Understandably, Susan felt upset about her accident, as she believed it would never have happened had the necessary warning signs been in place. She believed this amounted to negligence on the part of Marks and Spencer and so contacted Glynns for legal advice.

We agreed that the supermarket should have provided signage to warn Susan and other customers that the floor was being cleaned, thereby highlighting the danger of the floor being slippery. This amounted to a breach of duty, as Marks and Spencer had failed to safeguard the health and safety of their customers.

We helped Susan pursue a personal injury claim for the damages she suffered. The supermarket admitted liability and her claim was soon settled for £15,500.

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