Christmas head injury costs Darlington hotel £2,500


Slip Trip HazardAfter some delay, a Co Durham hotel finally agreed compensation of £2,500 for a partygoer's minor head injury.

On 10 December 2010, our client was attending a Christmas party at the St George Hotel, Darlington. At around 11pm, she walked towards a table in the smoking area at the back of the hotel.

Recent poor weather had caused the outside wooden decking to become extremely slippery. However, despite the potentially hazardous condition of the floor surface, the hotel had set up no wet floor warning signs or door mats. She slipped on the floor and fell, hurting her head and her knee.

Subsequent medical reports showed the guest had suffered a minor head injury, which caused her dizziness and pain for a month after the accident. She also sustained soft tissue injury to her knee, which took 4 months to heal.

On her behalf we contacted the St George, alleging fault contrary to the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957. Among a total of 7 counts, the defendant was in breach of its duty of care in failing to ensure our client was reasonably safe in using the premises for the purpose in which she was permitted to be there; and were negligent in that it exposed our client to a danger which it should have known was present.

Unfortunately, the defendant did not respond to our initial letter of claim, only finally instructing its insurers after we threatened an application to secure disclosure.

Some 11 months later, liability was conceded. But on sight of medical evidence, we advised our client to reject the initial offer of £1026.50 (broken down as £1000 for personal injury and £26.50 for incidental expenses).

A 'Part 36' offer was then put to the defendant for £2,276.50, a figure which covered £2,500 for personal injury and to which, in due course, the third party insurers agreed.

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