ON APPEAL FROM SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY COURT
(DISTRICT JUDGE SPARROW)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE McFARLANE
SIR MARK POTTER
- and -
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Mr S Weatley (instructed by Plexus Law) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Rix:
"MRS DUFOSSE SLIPPED ON A CYLINDRICAL SHAPED ICICLE ORNAMENT WHICH WAS ON THE FLOOR. WHEN SHE SLIPPED OVER, SHE HURT HER LEFT LEG FROM THIGH TO KNEE. HER SON ASKED IF I COULD CALL FOR AN AMBULANCE."
That is what she wrote in the box which called for an account of the incident/accident.
"I asked directly if she had fainted, as this is what I was told. She surprisedly [sic] said No. Her husband at which point interjected and said she had slipped on a Christmas ornament which was on the carpet. He grabbed an icicle shaped ornament from under her left leg, which I did not notice before. He showed it to me and said 'This is what she tripped on.' And he asked me to make sure I made a note of it."
"I didn't see the icicle. I didn't realise it was there until Mr. Dufosse senior pulled it from under her leg in which case I then, would then have decided that must have been what she slipped on."
There was no cross-examination other than to the effect that she had not been in the room when the accident took place and therefore could not say what Mrs Dufosse slipped on, a question with which she agreed.
"I have to discount that as being anything of any particular significance or relevance."
Lord Justice McFarlane:
"That then leaves us with this question I have been gently hammering away at, which is: where was this item at the time of the incident? Was Mrs. Dufosse close to the wall? There was a train just under her feet, or just behind her feet, which is about 8 or 9 inches wide. Santa and the Elf did not see it."
"For the Claimant to step on the icicle, it must have been within the view of the Defendants' witnesses before the Claimant's party entered the Grotto."
Sir Mark Potter:
Order: Appeal allowed