A pensioner who slipped on a Christmas tree ornament, fell and broke her thigh, is to receive substantial slip, trip and fall compensation after a decision in London´s Civil Appeals Court.
Joan Dufosse (73) from Southampton in Hampshire was accompanying her two grandchildren on a visit to Santa´s Grotto in London´s Selfridges store when the accident happened in November 2009. Getting prepared for a family photograph, Joan was asked by an elf to take a step back towards the corner of the room.
It was then that Joan slipped on an icicle Christmas tree ornament which had fallen from the tree and fell, fracturing her left femur. She was immediately taken to hospital where she underwent surgery to have a plate inserted in her leg but is still to make a full recovery from her accident.
Joan´s initial claim for slip, trip and fall compensation was rejected on the grounds that the ornament was not in plain view and therefore Melbry Events Ltd – the company responsible for hosting Santa´s Grotto in Selfridges – were not responsible for Joan´s injuries. But at London´s Civil Appeals Court, Lord Justice Rix overturned the decision, stating that it was not the family´s responsibility to see the hazard.
How much compensation Joan will receive for her is not yet known, but is expected to be in the region of 30,000 pounds. A final settlement of slipped in store compensation will be negotiated between Joan´s legal representatives and Melbry Events Ltd in the New Year.