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

Contingent loss in negligence claims

Contingent loss is relevant to limitation; specifically, the date at which a claimant’s cause of action accrues for the purposes of a claim in the tort of negligence (as many claims against professional advisers are framed).

View

Legal updates

Legal and regulatory monthly update - September 2019

The latest update covering delegated authority, insurance product development, the senior insurance managers regime, data protection, operational control frameworks, Lloyds market, and horizon scanning.

View

Legal updates

Kuoni referred to the CJEU by Supreme Court for clarification - possible impact on breach of contract, vicarious liability and assumption of responsibility claims for sexual abuse and assault

We were hoping to be able to give you some interesting insights following the judgment of X v Kuoni Travel Ltd but that will have to wait for another day.

View

Legal updates

The disappearance of LIBOR

Companies should undertake a comprehensive review and audit to identify those products and legacy contracts that are LIBOR-linked and carry out an in-depth risk assessment of discontinuation. Where possible, companies should look at appointing an individual to oversee the programme.

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