Property owners liable for postman’s injury


We have settled a compensation claim case for £6,000 after our client, a Royal Mail postman, slipped and dislocated his right shoulder whilst delivering letters.

Our client was delivering to a house which had a driveway on an incline and was mossy. Our client had no option but to walk on the moss as he made his way round a car parked in the driveway. Inevitably, he slipped on the moss and fell against a broken flagstone, banging his shoulder so badly that it was later found to be dislocated.

A window cleaner in the area came to his aid and our client was taken to hospital. Initially he was prescribed painkillers and had to take 6 weeks off work as he was still in too much pain and discomfort – this, of course, led to loss of earnings.

Our client had previously been an active man regularly playing football and badminton and playing with his children on their access visits. Living on his own, our client was also responsible for his household chores. However, for those 6 weeks he could do none of the above and also had trouble sleeping because of the discomfort.

He was referred to a fracture clinic where he was told the injury would take some months to settle. An intensive course of physiotherapy was recommended as was surgery after the results of an MRI scan. However, our client declined to have surgery as he did not want to take further time off work – at this point he had been able to return to the workplace on light duties.

Over time our client was able to resume his normal duties at work though his leisure time still suffers – he has given up badminton altogether, and takes extra care when playing football and with his children. He finds it uncomfortable to reach up to shelves and to put on some items of clothing. Medical opinion states that he will suffer permanent effects from the injury.

So who was to blame? His employers denied liability on the grounds that they had no control over the condition of the property. And so it was the property’s owners who admitted liability as the slippery moss and broken flagstone constituted being a foreseeable accident. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure a safe access route to the property, and in this case they had not removed the risk of slips and falls on their driveway.

We pursued the claim under the Occupiers Liability Act and settled this compensation claim for personal injury for £6,000.

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