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Occupiers Liability – M v TJ Morris Ltd

File Handler –

Samantha Barr –Solicitor (EL/PL/OL Department)

Background

On 10th July 2014 our client (‘M’) was shopping in a Home Bargain store when they tripped on a stack of boxes protruding into the aisle.  A fell and sustained injuries as a result.

After the accident M was upset at what had happened due to the negligence of the Defendant and pursued a claim for personal injury.

Issues –

From the outset theDefendant denied liability for the accident.  They argued that the boxes were part of a product display stack that are regularly used by a number of retailers, they were there to be seen and there had been no negligence.

On review of the Defendant’s disclosure, there was no risk assessment in relation to the placement of the stacks and the Defendant did not check that they were neat and tidy.  On this basis, we were happy to proceed with the matter on a No-Win-No-Fee agreement.  We obtained medical evidence and requested offers of settlement from the Defendant.  When no offer was received, court proceedings were issued.

The Defendant’s solicitors maintained their denial of liability and requested that M discontinue the claim on a number of occasions.  Each of these offers were rejected and the matter was listed for Trial on 22nd December 2017.

M attended the Trial and after hearing the evidence from both parties the Judge decided in favour of M and awarded in excess of £5,000.00 for the injuries sustained together with costs of the case.

However, on 18th January 2018 the Defendant made an application for permission to appeal the Trial outcome.  They argued that the Judge had mis-interpreted the law and the absence of a risk assessment for the placement of the display stacks did not amount to negligence and therefore the judgment in favour of M was incorrect.  After reviewing the application, it was clear that the Defendant had submitted the incorrect application to appeal and failed to apply the correct procedure.  A detailed witness statement in response was submitted to the Defendant to oppose the application.

Outcome

In February 2018, after receiving our witness statement in response the Defendant withdrew their application and agreed to pay M’s costs of responding.

This meant that initial Judgement stood and no further proceedings would be required.

Professional Opinion

This is a matter that was denied from the outset.  Despite the issues we were confident that the matter would be successful and proceeded with the claim.  Even after Mreceiving a favourable Judgment from the Court the Defendant were unwilling to finalise the claim and attempted to appeal the decision.

As a result of carefully researching the appeals procedure and providing a robust response, the Defendant withdrew their application.

This resulted in the matter concluding successfully without any further Court hearings and M received their damages.

Anyone, wanting further advice should contact our EL/PL department.

 

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Higgs Newton Kenyon Solicitors is a trading name of UK Law Nationwide Ltd registered in England and Wales under number 08307355. Registered office, 6th Floor, Yorkshire House, 18 Chapel Street, Liverpool, L3 9AG. A list of directors is open for inspection at the registered officer. Any reference to a "Partner" is in reference to a Director or Shareholder of the company. Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 573571. Previously trading as UK Law Solicitors.

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