Sainsbury's slipup means compensation for spine injury customer


A greasy shop-floor spillage which resulted in a customer's injured spine has led to a £2,600 damages settlement against a major supermarket.

Supermarket Slip

Our client was shopping in the Castlepoint, Bournemouth branch of Sainsbury's on 16 February 2012 when she slipped and fell, hurting her back.

Her fall had been due to a spillage on the supermarket floor. Although the light grey substance was never identified, its location in the shop – the dairy produce aisle – arguably spoke for itself, and was certainly greasy enough to be a hazard to the unwary.

As a result of the incident the woman sustained injuries to her lumbar spine. Although she had previously been diagnosed with back problems, she had been pain-free for some time before the accident.

We wrote to Sainsbury's alleging the accident was a result of the retailer's negligence and/or breach of statutory duty, with a number of counts contrary to the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957.

Among these were its failure to take reasonable steps to ensure our client's safety; failure to operate a regular inspection, cleaning and maintenance regime; and that it had exposed our client to a foreseeable risk of injury which it knew was present.

The defendant admitted liability in response to our letter of claim. We obtained medical evidence of the spine injury, and our client accepted an offer of £2,600.

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