Penningtons Manches LLP has recovered damages for two clients this week, both of whom suffered injuries while visiting local gym facilities.
The first claimant was a volunteer at her local community centre. Before starting her shift, she made use of the leisure facilities at the centre and proceeded to use the showers afterwards. As she left one of the changing rooms, she opened the door, immediately turned left, took one to two steps towards the stairs and then slipped on the wet floor. On looking at the area more closely, she noticed that the floor of the corridor was wet. While there were some wet floor signs, these were piled up on the far right side of the corridor and not on display.
In the second case, a woman attended her local spa to use the gym facilities. Ice had been forecast the previous evening and so before leaving home she checked her driveway for icy conditions. No ice was found so she continued with her journey. Upon parking at the spa, she exited her vehicle, took a couple of steps up the sloping car park and suddenly slipped on black ice. There was no evidence of the ground having been gritted or any warning signs out.
In each case, the defendant was pursued for failure to discharge a common duty of care to see that these women were safe while using their premises, as required by Section 2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. Both clients suffered significant back injuries and needed physiotherapy and steroid injections to aid recovery.
Admissions of liability were received early on and following successful negotiations, compensation was secured for both clients to reflect their pain, suffering, loss of amenity and associated financial losses.
Charlene McAuliffe, a case manager in Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team, commented: “These cases were clear examples of how a failure to adequately risk assess a business premises can have significant consequences. Had each defendant appreciated the hazards posed to their visitors, and taken basic steps such as erecting warning signs or barriers, it may have prevented our clients from walking in the areas and potentially avoided the accidents altogether. We were pleased that each defendant recognised this and admitted liability. It is hoped that these defendants will now minimise the risks of such injuries occurring again in similar circumstances.”