A pensioner has been awarded £7,500 compensation after she slipped on a prawn cocktail in a Marks and Spencer store. Jane Morritt lost her footing in a puddle of sauce and water from a nearby flower display and had to undergo emergency surgery fitting a plate in her hip leaving her unable to drive and with a permanent limp. Mrs Morritt’s left foot slipped on a wet part on the floor and when she tried to grab the nearby flower stand to avoid falling, her right foot also slipped causing her to fall to the ground and sustain severe injuries.
Marks and Spencer fought the compensation claim of £30,000 by saying that Mrs Morritt “had to take reasonable care for her own safety and had a duty to watch where she put her feet”. Mrs Morritt maintained that Marks and Spencer ought to have known that water inevitably would be spilled from the flower display and should have made sure that the food hall was inspected and cleaned properly. When she was given help by a member of staff they told her that there had been a recent spillage of prawn cocktail from a nearby salad shelf that had not been attended to.
In this case, the necessary relationship for a duty of care obviously applied as Marks & Spencer ought to have foreseen the potential damage such potential hazards could inflict and could have easily taken steps to reduce or remove those hazards by simply moving the flower stall back a few feet and cleaning up a bit!
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