A recent case serves as a reminder to occupiers or owners of premises which are visited by the public that they have a duty to take timely action to prevent injuries caused by ice or snow where they know, or ought to have known, that there was a risk of an accident.
A woman fell on the icy entrance path to a pub where she and her husband had gone for lunch. As they approached the main entrance, she slipped on the ice. Although the pub had been open for a while, the main pathway had not been cleared or treated, in spite of the freezing conditions.
In the fall, the woman suffered injuries to her shoulder and collar bone, which required hospital treatment and subsequent physiotherapy to help her recover the use of her arm and shoulder. While she was recovering, it was hard for her to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Had the person responsible at the pub taken basic safety measures, the risk of customers slipping on the ice would have been reduced. The woman brought a personal injury claim against the pub in order to recover the costs of treatment, care and travel she had incurred as a result of the accident. After negotiations, the claim was settled out of court for £5,250.