After a pensioner sustained injuries on its premises, the owners of one garden centre located near Didcot stands accused of public liability violations.
78 year old Derek Barlow was shopping at the Chilton Garden Centre in April of 2009 when he tripped over an obstacle and fell. Professional indemnity insurance holders were told that Mr Barlow had gotten his feet caught in uneven pieces of concrete that were jutting out from the surface of the floor whilst he was pushing a trolley. This led to his accident and resultant injuries, Oxford Crown Court was recently informed.
Mr Barlow’s legal team has made allegations that the garden centre knew or had cause to know of the existence of the concrete pieces as early as January of 2009. However the jagged and dangerous pieces were instead covered up with tables and chairs to conceal them from the public. Mr Barlow suffered knee and shoulder injuries as a result of his trip and fall.
The garden centre’s owners now face prosecution for being in breach of health and safety regulations. If the court finds the garden centre responsible for Mr Barlow’s injuries, the owners may face a claim against their public liability insurance policy to cover any compensation costs or fines.
If the garden centre does not have a policy it may face even more fines, as it is a requirement for businesses to possess professional liability insurance of some sort.
One staff member of the garden centre has testified to the court that the pieces of concrete did not serve as an obstacle. Moreover according to the staff member there were several dozen warning signs set in place around the broken concrete.