£17,000 compensation for woman who fell over venue's 'invisible' steps


Fall down StairsAn elderly woman who inadvertently fell over some steps after a Burton-on-Trent bowls match has won £17,000 compensation from the venue.

On 20 August 2010, the woman and her daughter attended the match at The Anglesey Arms, a pub in Burton-on-Trent. After the event at about 8pm the woman was on her way home, leaving the venue via some outside steps.

With neither handrails nor clear identification, as well as being finished in the same material as the rest of the flooring, the steps were extremely difficult to see. The woman, who is in her 70s, lost her balance.

Her fall caused her an intracapsular fracture to the neck of her femur. She was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was told she needed a partial hip replacement. The woman stayed in hospital for 1 week before her transfer to a care facility for a further week.

On the lady's behalf we alleged that the accident was caused as a result of the pub's negligence, contrary to the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957.

Among 6 counts, the establishment had failed to ensure our client was reasonably safe in using the premises for the purpose in which she was permitted to be there; failed to operate a regular system of inspection; and exposed our client to a foreseeable risk of injury which it knew was present.

Following its own investigations, the defendant admitted liability for the accident. We were able to put together a claim for 3 years' on-going care, confirmed by an expert as essential due to the nature of the accident, which our client will require of her daughter.

While our client had lived alone prior to the accident, she had been very independent. In respect of her injuries and the care she would need, we were able to negotiate a settlement of £17,000 with the defendant's insurers.

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