Our specialist Personal Injury team have successfully proved negligence against the occupiers of a café in Edinburgh and showed that they failed in their duty of care to a customer. Our team successfully negotiated an award for the Personal Injury element of the client's case and also for services that were provided to her.
How did the accident happen?
Our client was sitting in a café in Edinburgh when a 3 foot long wooden object fell from the ceiling and struck her on the head.
The lady sustained soft tissue injuries to her neck, shoulder, upper back and arm. She had delayed onset of symptoms but she got neck pain and associated headaches. Following the blow to her head she required 19 physiotherapy sessions and suffered sleep disturbance especially for the first 2 -3 months. Our client was not pain free until 10 months following the accident. Our client required to hire a cleaner as she was unable to do housework for 12 weeks due to her neck and shoulder pain.
How did our Personal Injury solicitors help?
We intimated the client's claim to the café owners who then referred the case to their insurance company. Occupiers of premises, such as the café owners in this case, require to maintain a safe environment for their customers.
Specifically, it was their duty to take reasonable care to ensure that ornaments and displays were secure and our team successfully showed that the café owners breached a statutory duty- Section 2 of the Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act. This sets out that occupiers must take reasonable care to ensure that any person will not suffer injury or damage by reason of any danger in the premises.
However there was also a case based on the common law (non- statutory based). The leading case which establishes the UK wide law for negligence and breach of duty is the Scottish case of Donoghue v Stevenson.
What is the legal case?
Despite this case being decided in 1932 it is a foundational legal decision and created the modern concept of negligence. It sets out the general principles whereby one person would owe a duty of care to another person and sets out the legal position regarding negligence:
- There has to be duty of care owed;
- A breach of that duty of care must have taken place; and
- Loss must have arisen from the breach in order for an award of damages to be made.
Donoghue v Stevenson is also known as the "Paisley snail" case. The facts of this case are that Mrs Donoghue drank a bottle of ginger beer in a café in Paisley and she became ill. The House of Lords held that the manufacturer of the ginger beer bottles owed a duty of care to her.
By applying the legal principles outlined which were based on a statutory breach and a common law breach we were able to successfully prove our client's case.
Contact our personal injury solicitors
If you've suffered a similar injury our solicitors can help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Get in touch now for a free chat about your claim. Call us free on 0800 904 7777 or find out more information about the personal injury service we provide.