0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Palmer v Marks & Spencer Plc, Court of Appeal

16 October 2001
The issues

Slipping accidents – Employer liability.

The facts

The Claimant worked for Marks & Spencer. She tripped on a weather strip in the store. The weather strip was on an activated door at the end of a well-lit corridor. It was a staff exit. The weather strip was between 8 and 9 1/2mm higher than the surrounding floor. It had been there for up to two years and up to 8000 people would have walked over it during that time. There were no known previous accidents or complaints. At first instance the Judge found for the Claimant, that the traffic route was not suitable for its purpose and that it was uneven. The Defendants appealed.

The decision

It was obvious that a weather strip would make a floor uneven if set higher than the floor. A balancing exercise had to be made having regard to the way in which the floor was constructed as to the seriousness of the risk of injury as against the cost of putting it right. The issues included the nature of the risk, the fact that the strip was by a door, the fact that it was only 9 1/2mm at its highest, and the fact that it was next to a step.

The Claimant knew the exit well.

The Claimant was 63 and walked without picking her feet up. Presumably she was not the only employee that walked that way – people like her had managed to go through the door without difficulty. It was impossible to say that the floor was not suitable. It did not expose individual’s safety risks. Not every trip could entitle the Claimant to compensation and the Court should have reached that conclusion. Appeal allowed.

focus on...

Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.

View

Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.

View

Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.

View

Legal updates

Insurance annual review 2019-2020

Welcome to our review of 2019 as we look ahead to what is on the horizon for the insurance sector in 2020.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up