A resident of a property suffered injury when she slipped on wet tiles after entering the building where she rented a flat.
The accident occurred as she walked through the main entrance of the building, slipping on the floor tiles covering the threshold.
Although the floor was wet and dangerously slippery there were no warning signs on display to alert residents to the hazard.
As a result of the accident the Claimant sustained a fractured leg requiring hospitalisation and surgery. She needed surgery and suffered ongoing symptoms for a long period following that surgery. She also sustained significant financial losses.
We were retained to bring a compensation claim on a No Win – No Fee basis against the owners of the building. Fault was alleged due to the negligence and breach of statutory duty of the Defendant under S2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
A letter of claim was sent to the Defendant who denied liability for the accident on the basis that the Defendant did not consider the floor tiles in question were defective.
We instructed an expert who prepared a ‘slip test’ report which concluded that the floor tiles could be categorised as ‘high risk ‘when wet.
The report was forwarded to the Defendant but they simply reiterated their denial of liability.
We also asked the Defendant to disclose documents relating to the installation of the tiles and details of inspections carried out prior to the Claimant’s tenancy.
We obtained medical evidence from a Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon. The medical report concluded that the Claimant had sustained a fracture to her left distal tibia and proximal fibula as a result of the slipping accident. He was of the opinion that although the Claimant’s physical injury had fully settled by the time he saw her, she continued to suffer psychological problems as a result of the accident. He therefore recommended that a medical opinion be sought from an experienced psychologist or psychiatrist.
In the meantime we sought further information from the Defendant. We asked them to confirm the history of ownership and leasing of the building and requested a copy of the lease.
As we were unable to reach a settlement court proceedings were issued. The court action was defended. When we received the Defence we saw there was no evidence to confirm that a slip test had ever been carried out by the Defendant. We queried this, raising a series of formal questions. As no response was received we made an application to the court for an order forcing the Defendant to provide this information.
The Defendant was obviously concerned about us making this application to the court and rather than complying with the court’s order they decided to accept a settlement offer previously made by our client. Accordingly the client received compensation for the injuries she had sustained as a result of slipping on a wet floor.
The case demonstrates how important it is to be tenacious when dealing with injury claims. Defendants sometimes refuse to deal with matters amicably or constructively and when a case is defended then the legal claim needs to be vigorously pursued.