Settled at the Door of the Court

Published: 29th September 2016

A Wakefield woman settled her damages claim against a Wilkinsons store literally days before it was due to go to trial.

She slipped on soap which had been spilled in the shopping aisle by an unknown shopper. She fell and hurt her back.  She already had degeneration in her spine and the fall made her back much worse for a period of around eighteen months.  She instructed Liddys Solicitors to represent her.

Supermarkets, probably more than any other type of shop, have a duty to take reasonable steps to try to make sure that their premises are safe.  Of course it was not their fault that a shopper had spilled the soap and not told anybody. However, supermarkets have a duty to regularly inspect the aisles for spillages and to clean them up where they are discovered.

Wilkinsons were able to prove that they had inspected the aisle at 1pm. The claimant slipped at 2pm.  Therefore the spillage may have occurred at any time between 1pm and 2pm, and Wilkinsons did not provide any evidence from staff members to say that staff were on the aisle on a regular basis between 1pm and 2pm.  Therefore, there was no evidence that the spillage had not been there for an hour in which case it should have been cleaned up.  The case was listed for trial on 3 October but the defendants agreed to settle the claimant’s claim for damages agreed at £7,000 on 26 September.

Where a shopper visits a supermarket, they should be able to assume that the supermarket has taken steps to keep the floors reasonably safe. Where they do not and the shopper is hurt, it is right that damages should be paid.  These are often not straightforward cases to win, however, and it is important that the solicitor who conducts the case understands this developing area of law.

At Liddys Solicitors you are guaranteed to be able to see the solicitor face to face and to have a solicitor dealing with your case with at least eight years’ experience.

Co9ntact Liddys Solicitors on 01924 780753.