A woman who fell and twisted her ankle as she left a car park has succeeded in her claim for compensation.
In such cases, it is sometimes difficult to ascertain exactly who owns the premises and who is responsible for maintaining them so they do not pose a risk to members of the public.
When the woman first presented her personal injury claim to the owners of the car park, they denied that it was anything to do with them. However, the solicitor handling the claim was able to prove that they had in fact previously carried out maintenance to the property.
In defending the claim in court, the car park owners argued that they could not be expected to identify every hazard as soon as it arose. They contended that they had in place a system for carrying out regular inspections of the surface of the car park and organised repairs and maintenance when necessary. However, they were unable to produce any evidence of this or to give details of which areas had been inspected when and what, if any, work had been carried out.
The judge rejected their arguments. Whilst the law recognises that it is not always reasonably practicable to eliminate all risks, the car park owners had been unable to demonstrate that they had complied with their health and safety responsibilities towards the general public.
The woman was awarded compensation for her pain and suffering.