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Supermarket Accidents in the UK

In the UK, supermarket accidents happen everyday. Some are attributable to a lack of care by the supermarket staff and management – others are accidents which could have not been prevented under any circumstances. Should you sustain an injury in a supermarket which is due to negligence, you should be entitled to claim compensation for supermarket accidents in the UK. It is recommended that you discuss the circumstances of your accident and injury with a solicitor on our freephone injury claims advice service to establish that you have a claim for supermarket accident compensation which is worth your while to pursue.

Wilko Accepts Liability for Employee Spine Injury in a Roll Cage Accident

December 13, 2016

One of the country´s largest homeware and household goods retailers has accepted liability for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.

In August 2013, twenty-year-old Corisande Collins was badly injured when a roll cage fell on top of her as it was being removed from a lift. The accident, which happened at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko in Leicester, was due to the roll cage being overloaded with paint pots and due to the floor of the lift not stopping level with the landing at the lift entrance.

At the time of the accident, Corisande was a first year student at Northampton University who was working part-time at the store as a customer assistant in order to fund her university studies. The accident left her with a spinal injury that has caused her to be paralysed from the hips down and confined to a wheelchair.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and charged Wilko Retail Ltd with four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. At Leicester Crown Court last week, representatives of the company pled guilty to failings in work practises that resulted in the employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.

After being shown X-rays of Corisande´s injury, Judge Ebraham Mooncey heard that Corisande had led an “active outgoing life” prior to the accident. The judge was told that she had just passed her driving test at the time and spent four months in a spinal injuries unit before returning to university to continue her degree eighteen months later.

The judge adjourned the hearing until January for sentencing – at which time a final settlement of compensation for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident will also be agreed. Corisande has already received one interim settlement of compensation from Wilko´s insurers and said after the hearing:

“I never imagined something like this happening to me. Wilko are taking full responsibility for what happened, but this will never make up for the fact I’ve lost the use of my legs and will spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Although my injuries are permanent, they will not stop me from achieving all I want to in life. I wouldn’t be in the position I am without the support of my friends and family.”

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Woman Recovers Injury Compensation for a Fall in Sainsburys

December 7, 2015

An elderly shopper has recovered a five-figure settlement of injury compensation for a fall in Sainsburys cause by a trip on loose matting.

Seventy-nine year old Jean Annis from Alsager in Cheshire was shopping in her local Sainsburys late last year when she tripped on a loose piece of matting at the entrance to the supermarket and fell heavily. Jean fractured her right arm in the accident and suffered several facial injuries.

Despite receiving prompt medical treatment, the accident caused Jean to suffer permanent nerve damage to her dominant right arm. Unfortunately Jean had another fall five months later, due to which her weakened right arm was fractured again.

Since the accident Jean has only been able to use her left hand and can no longer drive. She has been advised to undergo an operation to pin the bones in her arm to give it more strength, but is worried that her husband Norman (89) – who suffers with dementia – will have to be put into a home.

Jean sought legal advice and made a claim for injury compensation for a fall in Sainsburys. The supermarket chain was quick to acknowledge liability for Jean´s injuries and entered into negotiations with Jean´s solicitors to agree a settlement of the claim.

Although the exact amount of injury compensation for a fall in Sainsburys has not been revealed, it was disclosed by Jean´s solicitor that Jean received a five-figure settlement. Speaking about Jean´s accident, the solicitor commented:

“It is imperative that premises such as supermarkets take great care to ensure their stores are safe for visitors at all times, particularly the entrance and exit area which can become hazardous due to wear and tear caused by the sheer number of people passing through on a daily basis, and also as the result of wet weather conditions.”

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “Mrs Annis is a valued customer and we are pleased that her claim for compensation for a fall in Sainsburys has been settled”.

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Scaffolder Sustains Injuries in Sainsburys Work Accident

March 5, 2015

Westminster Magistrates Court has heard how a scaffolder sustained serious injuries in a Sainsburys work accident due to the negligence of his employer.

James Whelan was working for the scaffolding company Bowmer and Kirkland Ltd on a project to extend the existing Sainsburys supermarket in Wandsworth, West London. On August 8th 2013, as James walked along an area between the existing store structure and the new extension, he stepped onto a section of plasterboard which he believed was covering the secure walkway.

As the fragile material snapped under his weight, James (31) fell seven metres to a stairway below. He was James was taken to hospital, where he received treatment for a fractured spine, fractured pelvis, four broken ribs and a bruised lung. James – from Wimbledon in Surrey – is still not fully recovered from his injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the Sainsburys work accident and concluded that more could have been done to prevent the chances of a fall from the roof – such as securing the integrity of the walkway with guard rails and providing stronger covers where fragile materials existed.

Bowmer and Kirkland Ltd was prosecuted by the HSE for contravening the Work at Height Regulations 2005; and, although the Derbyshire-based company acknowledged responsibility for the Sainsburys work accident, said that it had tried to reduce the risk of an accident by restricting access to the walkway.

Westminster Magistrates fined the company £6,000 with a further £1,428 in costs, after which HSE Inspector Gavin Pugh said: “The hazards presented by fragile surfaces and open edges are clear, and it is common knowledge that falls from height account for almost half of all deaths and serious injuries on construction sites. As such, companies like Bowmer & Kirkland should be fully aware of what needs to be done to adequately protect workers”.

“The safety standards surrounding the walkway and fragile area fell some way short on this occasion, and it could have cost the scaffolder his life. He suffered painful injuries that still cause him pain and discomfort, but he could just as easily have been killed.”

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Tesco Fined for Foot Injury to Supermarket Worker

January 3, 2014

Supermarket chain Tesco have been fined £115,000 by Southwark Crown Court for their part in a foot injury to a supermarket worker employed at the Tesco Metro store in Victoria, Central London.

Mohammed Ferdous (31) was working in the basement of the Victoria Tesco Metro store on 7th August 2009, when he was asked to help with a delivery of fresh food. His task involved waiting at the lift entrance in the basement, removing cages of food sent down from the street level and replacing the empty cages back into the lift.

When the second lift containing cages had descended, Mohammed stepped forward to take them out of the lift and used his right foot as leverage as the cages were heavy. Unbeknown to Mohammed, he had placed his foot into a gap between the base of the lift car and the lift shaft and, when the lift car suddenly shifted downwards, his foot was crushed.

Colleagues freed Mohammed´s foot after ten minutes of agony, but his toes were irreparably damaged and had to be amputated. Mohammed was unable to work for more than a year after the accident and will never be able to walk normally again.

Mohammed made a compensation claim for a foot injury to a supermarket worker in 2013 and settled his claim for an undisclosed amount. However Tesco – along with lift maintenance company Otis – was prosecuted after it became apparent during an investigation into the accident that no maintenance inspections had been performed on the lift in the nine-month period preceding the accident.

Both Tesco and Otis pleaded guilty to charges brought under Section 33 (1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and magistrates at Southwark Crown Court fined the two companies £115,000 and £110,000 respectively for their negligence which led to the foot injury to the supermarket worker.

Speaking after the fines had been announced, Westminster City Council’s food, health and safety manager – James Armitage – said that the foot injury to the supermarket worker would have been avoided if the Tesco and Otis had “collectively ensured that the lift was properly maintained” and that it had been “entirely preventable”.

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Compensation Agreed in Claim for Tripping in Morrisons

November 17, 2012

A woman, who successfully appealed a court ruling that she was equally at fault for the injuries she sustained when she fell over in a supermarket, has been award £44,000 in compensation for her claim for tripping in Morrisons.  

Jean Palfrey (79) from St Annes Chapel in Cornwall sustained terrible injuries to her arms and shoulders when she tripped over a low-loading trolley used to bring goods into her local Morrisons supermarket in Tavistock, Cornwall in November 2008. Her injuries were so severe that she remained in hospital for three months with fractures to both humerus bones and was unable to perform household tasks for a further two years. She stills takes painkillers to cope with the pain she feels regularly and one of her arms is now shorter than the other.

Earlier this week, Jean´s solicitors successfully appealed the original verdict in her injury claim for falling in Morrisons – that she was equally to blame for her injuries as she had admitted noticing the trolley before she misjudged where she was walking and tripped over it – after Lord Justice Moses said ”Shoppers walking up and down aisles in supermarkets are expected to be attracted by what is on the shelves and do not expect to have to look towards the ground”.

Nonetheless, Lord Justice Moses agreed with legal representatives from Morrisons that they were not entirely at fault for Jean´s accident, and allocated her 20 percent contributory negligence – thus reducing the award of compensation agreed between the two parties in settlement of Jean´s claim for tripping in Morrisons from £55,000 to £44,000.

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Injury Claim for Falling in Morrisons Appeal Upheld

November 14, 2012

A woman, who made an injury claim for falling in Morrisons, has successfully appealed a judge´s verdict on the level of contributory negligence attributed to her claim.

Jean Palfrey had been shopping in her local Morrisons supermarket when she had tripped over a shelf-stacking trolley, which had been left unattended in the middle of an aisle by the assistant manager of the store while he had been helping other customers.

In her original injury claim for falling in Morrisons, the judge had found Jean and Morrisons equally liable for her injuries – ruling that the trolley “had no business being there”, but was safe in design and did not present a risk of injury.

Morrison contested the decision on the grounds that if the trolley did not present a risk of injury then they should not be held at all liable for Jean´s injuries, while Jean´s counsel appealed the verdict on the grounds that the trolley did indeed represent a trip hazard and the original ruling was wrong.

In the appeal hearing, Jean´s counsel argued that due to the low-lying horizontal platform, the trolley did indeed present a trip hazard at any time that it was not fully laden and that it was dangerous to leave it unattended in a place where the focus of customers would have been drawn to goods on the shelves.

The judge at the appeal hearing agreed with the argument that “in these circumstances” the shelf-stacking trolley constituted a hazard, but ruled that Jean must accept some of the responsibility for her injuries as she had seen the trolley before her trip and fall accident in Morrisons, but misjudged its configuration.

The appeal judge found Jean 20 percent liable in her claim for falling in Morrisons – thus dismissing Morrisons´ appeal – and now Jean solicitors will meet with Morrisons public liability insurers to negotiate a settlement of injury compensation for falling in Morrisons based on the appeal judge´s decision.

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Compensation for Childs Slip in Asda Approved in Court

November 8, 2012

A nine-year-old girl, who sustained a knee ligament injury due to slipping on water spilled on the floor of her local supermarket, has had an award of injury compensation for a childs slip in Asda approved in court.

Judge Bell at Reigate County Court heard how the unnamed girl from Reigate in Surrey was just five years of age when, in February 2009, she slipped on some water which had spilled in an aisle of her local Asda supermarket and fell – sustaining a medial collateral ligament sprain injury.

After a period of rest advised by her doctor, the majority of the pain in her knee disappeared after six weeks; however, as the girl continued to experience mild pain occasionally when running and playing games, a second prognosis concluded that the injury would continue to present a nuisance level of pain and may well be permanent.

Through her parents, the girl made a claim for a childs slip in Asda alleging that the supermarket was negligent in the duties imposed upon it by the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 in failing to have in place and practically adhere to a reasonable system of inspection and cleaning.

Asda admitted liability for the girl´s injuries and a settlement of compensation for a childs slip in Asda was negotiated amounting to 4,250 pounds. After hearing the circumstances of the accident and injury, Judge Bell approved the settlement.

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Shopping Centre Injury Claims Mount Up at Highcross

June 28, 2012

Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester is establishing a reputation as the most hazardous shopping centre in England, with four more shopping centre injury claims having been made since Gweneth Bowler successfully sued the shopping complex in December 2011 after fracturing her shoulder due to a slip on a wet surface.

Earlier this month, an unnamed Leicestershire woman was awarded 3,700 pounds after slipping and fracturing her ankle on the same access bridge between the shopping centre car park and the John Lewis store, while three claims remain outstanding due to slip injuries sustained in the shopping centre car park.

During Gweneth Bowler´s hearing in December, a Leicester City Council health and safety official had testified that the bridge´s surface represented a slip hazard due to poor drainage and inadequate cleaning. The recommendations of the council – including the improving the drainage system in the car park – were put into place earlier this year and no accidents have subsequently been reported.

Despite Highcross admitting liability for the two resolved shopping centre injury claims, no comment was available on the outstanding claims for shopping centre injury compensation – including a serious injury to a 40 year-old female shopper who required emergency surgery for a broken femur after a slip in the shopping centre car park.

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Travelator Fall Injury Compensation after Accident in Dunnes

June 26, 2012

A seventy-nine year old woman, who broke her shoulder in three places following a fall on the travelator at the Dunnes Store in Dublin´s Ashleaf Shopping Centre, has been awarded 30,000 Euros travelator fall injury compensation.

Rosaleen Hill of Terenure, Dublin, had been shopping at the Dunnes Store on 23rd March 2009 and was returning to the underground car park on a moving travelator, when the trolley she was using started to run away from her. Attempting to maintain her hold on the trolley, Rosaleen fell and was dragged along the surface of the travelator – breaking her right shoulder and severely lacerating her knee.

After receiving medical treatment for her injuries, Rosaleen made a claim for travelator fall injury compensation against Dunnes Stores, Gary Smith, trading as The Ashleaf Shopping Centre and Kessow Limited which runs the centre, alleging that the three defendants were negligent in providing a shopping trolley which was unsafe to use.

However, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Jacqueline Linnane dismissed the case against Dunnes after a forensic engineer testified that the shopping trolleys used by Dunnes were fitted with corrugated rubber wheels that locked into the groves on the travelator, restricting the travel speed. The judge heard that the trolley which was responsible for Rosaleen´s injuries was fitted with smooth wheels and had possibly been placed in the trolley area by shopfitters working in the shopping centre.

 Both Gary Smith, trading as The Ashleaf Shopping Centre and Kessow Limited were found jointly negligent and ordered by Judge Jacqueline Linnane to pay Rosaleen 30,000 Euros in travelator fall injury compensation after hearing Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Paul Nicholson describe Rosaleen´s shoulder injuries as notoriously painful.

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Fall in Argos Compensation Awarded for Shoulder Injury

June 21, 2012

A shopper who slipped and fell on a discarded wet wipe in Argos, injuring his shoulder in the process, has been awarded 17,500 Euros fall in Argos compensation at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.

Declan Conroy from East Wall, Dublin, had been shopping in the Ilac Centre branch of Argos in May 2008 when the accident occurred. While in the queue for the counter to order a lawnmower for his mother, he slipped on a wet wipe which had been left on the floor and fell – badly damaging his shoulder.

After receiving medical treatment, Declan made a claim for fall in Argos injury compensation against the store – claiming that their method of checking the store for potential hazards was negligent and he had suffered an injury as a result.

Argos denied liability for Declan´s injury; contending that CCTV footage revealed the presence of the wet wipe just six minutes before Declan´s accident and arguing that staff could not be asked to constantly monitor the condition of the floor surface in such a historically low-risk store.

However, a forensic engineer – testifying on behalf of Declan – explained that because of the extra footfall in the queuing area where Declan´s accident occurred, a higher level of vigilance should be applied. It was also revealed at the Circuit Civil Court that CCTV footage showed a woman pushing a baby buggy through the area five minutes before the wet wipe first appeared on camera.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane determined that, on the balance of probabilities, it was the woman with the baby buggy who was responsible for dropping the wet wipe and, as more than ten minutes would have elapsed between the hazard being present and Declan sustaining his injury, she was ruling that Argos was liable.  Declan was awarded 17,500 Euros for fall in Argos compensation plus costs.

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Girl Receives Compensation for Faulty Shop Display Injury

June 16, 2012

An 11-year-old girl, who badly cut her leg on a stand displaying cakes in Dunnes Stores, has had her settlement of compensation for faulty shop display injury approved at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

The court heard how Jade Earls from Bray, County Wicklow, had been shopping in the Cornelscourt branch of Dunnes Stores in Dublin on July 16, 2010. As she passed by a stand displaying cakes, Jade caught her leg on rusty nails exposed on a piece of wood which was hanging down from the display.

Judge Alan Mahon was told that Jade suffered a ten centimetre abrasion and a four centimetre laceration which – although it had healed – resulted in a permanent scar on her left leg. Through her mother – Fidelma – Jade made a claim for fauly shop display injury compensation against Dunnes Stores and the company responsible for the cake display stand – ABF Grain products of Grosvenor Street, London.

The judge was also advised that Dunnes Stores and ABF Grain Products had accepted liability for Jade´s injury on a 60/40 basis, and that an offer of compensation for faulty shop injury amounting to 12,000 Euros plus legal expenses had been made, which the family were willing to accept.

The settlement was approved by the court.

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Fine Imposed on Tesco for Accidents at Work

April 12, 2012

Tesco has admitted failing in its duty of care towards employees at their supermarket in Warfield after an investigation found that Tesco accidents at work were not being reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

Bracknell Forest Council investigated three separate Tesco accidents at work between May 2009 and March 2010 in which staff had been injured and no report had been made to the relevant enforcing authority.

Investigators from the Environmental Health Department of Bracknell Forest Council also found evidence that Tesco had failed to provide adequate training and enforce safe working practices in the loading and unloading area of its Warfield store – further placing employees at risk of injury.

Tesco admitted the charges made against the company and were fined 48,000 pounds after a hearing. Bracknell Forest Council recovered a further 25,000 pounds for the costs involved with the investigation and for bringing the case against Tesco.

 “It’s vital that companies stick to health and safety rules so their employees remain out of danger at work”, said Bracknell Forest’s head of environmental health, David Steeds, after the Tesco accidents at work case had been heard. “Unfortunately, Tesco failed to keep to these rules and, as a result, employees were injured – quite seriously in one of the cases – or put in harm´s way.”

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Compensation for Leg Injury in Tescos Paid to Pensioner

March 8, 2012

A court in Leicester has heard how an elderly pensioner was paid an undisclosed amount of compensation for leg injury in Tescos after she was hit by a pallet trolley in her local store.

The hearing, which was called to determine the severity of the health and safety fine after Tescos admitted liability for the injury, heard how Angela Pownell (80) from Beaumont Leys, Leicestershire, had been hit on the leg by the pallet trolley while shopping with her husband in August 2009.

District Judge John Temperley heard the impact of the pallet trolley – which was heavily laden with boxed televisions – had torn lumps of skin away from Angela´s leg and she was rushed to Leicester Royal Infirmary where she received stitches and painkillers for her injuries.

The court was told that a district nurse was required to visit to change Angela´s dressing  daily after the accident in Tescos, and that she suffered psychological injuries thereafter. Angela´s husband, John, testified that Angela lost her confidence after the injury and would not go anywhere without holding somebody else´s hand.

Angela and John had accepted an undisclosed compensation for leg injury in Tescos settlement and, after hearing that the warehouseman who had been pulling the pallet truck at the time admitted that he had not seen Angela, District Judge John Temperley fined Tescos 20,000 pounds and ordered them to pay 24,500 pounds in costs.

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Settlement Agreed in Tesco Wet Floor Injury Claim

February 14, 2012

A Worcestershire pensioner, who broke a bone in his foot after he slipped on a wet floor in Tesco, has been awarded an undisclosed four-figure settlement for his Tesco wet floor injury claim.

Ronald Fryer (80) from Whittington in Worcestershire was entering the Tesco store in St. Peter´s Drive, Worcester in October 2009, when he slipped on a wet floor by the entrance to the shop.

The former cricket umpire was taken to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital where X-rays revealed that Ronald had fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot.

After recovering from his injury, Ronald sought legal advice and established that he was eligible to make a Tesco wet floor injury claim due to a breach in Tesco´s duty of care towards its customers.

After protracted negotiations over how much compensation for slipping on a wet floor in Tesco Ronald should be entitled to, the company made a four-figure offer in settlement of Ronald´s Tesco wet floor injury claim which he was advised to accept.

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Worker Awarded Compensation for Slip in Asda

January 3, 2012

A former Asda employee has been awarded 27,000 pounds in personal injury compensation after injuring her back when slipping on a broken egg in the store´s warehouse.

Irene Heslop (65) from Fallowfield, Greater Manchester, sustained her injuries in March 2007 while working as a bakery assistant in the Hulme Asda store in Greater Manchester. Doctors diagnosed her with a suspected spinal fracture which left her unable to walk long distances or carry heavy objects.

As her condition improved, Irene requested that Asda put her on lighter duties in order that she could return to work. The company refused, and Irene continue to draw Statutory Sick Pay until the six month period expired after which time she received industrial injury benefit at 24 pounds per week.

After seeking legal advice, Irene made a claim for personal injury compensation against the Asda store in Hulme which was supported by doctors at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. After conducting their own investigation, Asda acknowledged that Irene´s lifestyle had been seriously curtailed by the accident and agreed to a 27,000 pounds personal injury compensation settlement.

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Second Slip and Fall Claim Settled by Asda

September 22, 2011

A second major personal injury claim for a slip and fall in Asda´s Rivergate store in Peterborough has been settled for an undisclosed sum.

The store hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in June this year, when Peterborough County Court found in favour of Thomas Wardle and awarded him 10,500 pounds after he injured his back when slipping on a grape.

On this occasion the victim was 74-year-old Patricia Hill of Orton Goldhay, who hurt her knee and ankle after slipping on vegetables in a non-fruit and vegetable isle while shopping in May 2008. Mrs Hill was found to have a closed fracture of the tibial plateau on arrival at Peterborough General Hospital and had to remain in hospital for 5 days.

Three years of treatment later, Mrs Hill still suffers pain in her knee and ankle, and doctors have told her that she is likely to need knee replacement surgery in the near future and has a 50 per cent chance of developing osteoarthritis. Mrs Hill has no family living near her in Peterborough, and has had to rely on friends and paid help to help her with household and personal chores during her rehabilitation.

Asda agreed to a “substantial” out-of-court settlement, the details of which Mrs Hill did not wish to reveal, but the same supermarket store has a third slip and fall injury claim to contend with which is due to be heard in Peterborough County Court later this year.

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Slip in Asda Store Results in 10,500 Pounds Compensation

June 4, 2011

An Asda shopper, who slipped on a grape and injured his back, has won a three year fight for personal injury compensation.

Thomas Wardle of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was shopping in the Rivergate branch of Asda in January 2008, when he slipped on a grape that had been left lying in an aisle and fell to the floor – badly injuring himself in the process.

After seeking legal advice, Thomas sued Asda – claiming that their lack of cleanliness had caused pain and suffering – and, at Peterborough County Court, a judge ruled in Thomas´ favour, awarding him 10,500 pounds in compensation and criticising the supermarket´s general record on health and safety.

The judge´s verdict may influence two further cases scheduled to be heard in Peterborough County Court later this year – both against the Rivergate branch of Asda, and both for injuries sustained due to a lack of cleanliness in January 2008

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Tesco Worker Injury Claim Resolved Out of Court

February 8, 2011

A Tesco worker injury claim has been resolved out of court after Tesco admitted liability for their employee´s injuries sustained in the supermarket store at Duloch Park in Fife.

Shona Foreman (35) from Alloa in Clackmannanshire made the Tesco worker injury claim after her hand was caught between two metal cages during a delivery to the store in 2006. As she moved to one side to allow a colleague through, the cage Shona was using was knocked into another, trapping her hand and causing a soft tissue injury and nerve damage.

Despite returning to work a week later with a plaster cast on her hand and a letter from her doctor, Shona was given a written warning for taking time off from work and made to work on the checkout – a role which involved lifting customer´s heavy shopping which aggravated the injury to her hand.

Due to the lack of care shown to her by her employers, Shona left her job and, after seeking legal advice, made a claim for injury compensation for an accident in Tesco on the grounds that unsafe working practices were used in the Duloch Part branch of Tesco, due to which her injury had occurred and was then exacerbated.

Tesco initially denied the claim for Tesco worker injury compensation but, shortly before the case was due to be heard in court, made Shona an undisclosed offer in settlement of her Tesco worker injury claim which she accepted on advice

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