Mrs B was on holiday at Caravan Park in Newquay, she normally resides in Rotherham. She visited the onsite cafeteria and, in the process of leaving, sustained serious injury. Mrs B had tripped over a rippled and raised piece of carpet on her approach to the door. There was also a slight ramp leading towards the door which did not help the circumstances. A piece of wood had been used in an attempt to secure the carpet in position on a temporary basis but was not, in fact, a carpet gripper and the carpet had rippled up. Mrs B fell, at speed, through the double doors of the cafeteria.
Mrs B sustained significant injury. On arrival of an ambulance, it was found that Mrs B had fractured her hip. She was given morphine at the scene and taken to hospital. Mrs B almost died twice as a result of her accident related injuries.
The Park denied responsibility for the accident on the basis the carpet was not a hazard and that she had fallen elsewhere. At the time of the accident, she was 77 years old.
Mrs B pointed out that the carpeted area where she tripped was a busy traffic route and an entry and exit point for the cafeteria and therefore the defendant had failed to maintain the route so as to prevent it become a danger to lawful visitors and failed to inspect the area, adequately or at all. Such breaches allowed the area to be, or to remain, dangerous for lawful visitors to walk upon when use it was unsafe to do so. The claimant’s family had made previous complaints about the state of the carpet.
However, it was argued rigorously by the defendant that the carpet did not pose a hazard and/or danger and that Mrs B should have been using the walking aid provided to her by the Caravan Park. The carpet was not in such a state that it was hazardous, nor did it pose a danger. It was argued that if Mrs B had been using her walking frame as usual, she would have not suffered her injuries to the extent she did. It was found that Mrs B was contributorily negligent for her accident.
After much disagreement over liability between the parties, ASD eventually recovered a five figure sum for Mrs B.