Pensioner Wins Legal Battle After Supermarket Fall

Specialist Injury Lawyers Secure Settlement To Cover Physio Treatment

22.01.2013

A retired Head Teacher who was left in agony when she suffered a dislocated shoulder after falling over a discarded cardboard box in a supermarket aisle has called on shops to ensure customer safety is put first when re-stocking shelves.

Grandmother-of-six Jennifer Mills, from Forest Row, East Sussex, was left lying in agony for almost an hour until an ambulance arrived after falling over a large box which had been left next to an unattended pallet partially blocking the aisle in LIDL supermarket in Crowborough.

The 72-year-old pensioner was shopping with her husband Robert Mills in September 2010 before being rushed to the Princess Royal Hospital’s A&E unit where her dislocated shoulder had to be re-set. She was also treated for cuts and a sprain to her right thumb, which was caused after she fell onto a glass bottle that she had been carrying.

Jennifer, who more than two years on still has problems moving her right arm freely because of her injuries turned to specialist injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell for help securing funds for physiotherapy to improve her condition.

LIDL has now fully accepted liability and agreed an out-of-court settlement of more than £8,000. The law firm also helped to secure additional funds to pay for the physiotherapy treatment Jennifer required as part of her rehabilitation.

Sophie Davies, a specialist personal injury solicitor at Irwin Mitchell who represented Mrs Mills, said: “Supermarkets, shops and other public places have a fundamental duty to ensure they are providing a safe environment for the people that use them.

“Sadly, in this case, Mrs Mills was out of action for months while her shoulder healed and thankfully we were able to get her some physiotherapy sessions so try and improve the movement in her arm.

“LIDL accepted liability for Mrs Mills injuries and we have repeatedly called for a focus on safety and will continue to do so to help prevent further accidents such as this in future.”

Jennifer said: “My husband and I had been doing our shopping and had just got to the checkout when I realised I had forgotten some items so I went back to get them. As I was returning to the checkout I tripped over a stray cardboard box which had been left lying next to an unloaded pallet. It seems one of the staff had been in the middle of re-stocking the shelves and the pallet was left on the floor.

“I fell with such force that I knew straight away I had seriously hurt my shoulder. A bottle that I had been carrying smashed as I fell and my right hand was covered in blood.

“After almost an hour lying on the floor, my husband finally managed to get a chair from the store and he managed to lift me up, before the paramedics arrived to take me to hospital.

“My injuries took many months to heal and more than two years on I have been left without full movement of my shoulder. I also don’t have the strength in my right hand that I used to have and find I cannot manage simple tasks such as opening jars any more, which is very frustrating.  My injuries could so easily have been avoided if the store had taken more care and put customer safety first.”

If you've been injured in a supermarket and it wasn't your fault, our personal injury claims team could help you claim compensation. See our Supermarket Accident Compensation Claims page for more information.