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A breakthrough for common sense

28 February 2014

Last week we successfully defended a claim where a mother left her ten-month old son unattended in the aisle of a shop next to a crate. She then proceeded to walk to the end of the aisle and beckoned for her son who attempted to walk past the crate and fell, injuring himself.

Counsel advised us that this was a risky case to take to trial. But we thought it was worth fighting- after all where does the responsibility of a parent end and the shop keeper take over in circumstances such as this?

The judge, who confirmed that she had two young children, held that whilst the crate was a potential hazard, it was the mother’s responsibility to ensure her child was kept safe. It was not reasonable to leave a child, who was unsteady on his feet, wearing slipper socks, near a potential hazard, namely the crate. The claimant did not prove on the balance of probabilities that the accident occurred because of the defendant’s negligence.

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