Robert’s client worked at McDonalds as a crew member, generally manning the order/delivery window. However, she often delivered orders to people who were parked in waiting bays in the car park. On a very cold January evening, at about 10.45, the woman went out into the car park and slipped on ice whilst carrying out this task.
The incident was caught on CCTV and the woman completed an accident report with one of the duty managers.
The woman sustained a fractured right elbow and soft tissue injuries to her right hip and right knee. She had to take several weeks off work and needed help from her husband – who had to take holiday leave – and her mother-in-law, especially relating to caring for her children who were six, and twins who were one year old.
The woman contacted Graysons to see if she could make a claim for personal injury compensation from the McDonalds’ franchisee who owned the premises. Robert contacted the company.
Robert contacted the franchisee, claiming that it owed his client a duty to take reasonable care for her safety whilst she is in its employment and was responsible for the accident.
The McDonalds’ franchisee resolutely denied liability for the claim, saying that, whilst its extreme weather policy states that it should keep up with the local weather forecast and it should grit the car park (which does not appear to include the area around the parking bays where customers are waiting for their orders to be delivered) in bad weather, the weather was not icy on that evening to warrant gritting. In fact, Robert was able to prove that the temperature in that area, on that evening, dropped to 0 degrees or below at about 8.30 – 9.00 pm and conditions were recorded as ‘ice fog’.
Robert claimed, amongst other issues, that the defendant had failed to:
- take note or act upon local weather forecasts which indicated that there would be icy conditions in the area of the restaurant
- recognise the icy conditions and therefore grit the car park
- provide a safe place and system of work
The defendant claimed that Robert’s client had not looked where she was going and/or did not use a safe route that didn’t require her to take a route that was hazardous.
Robert issued proceedings and the case was to be heard in the County Court at the end of December. However, in the meantime, Robert has been able to negotiate a settlement with the McDonald’s franchisee, which has agreed to pay compensation to Robert’s client and which the client is delighted with.
Owners of shops, supermarkets and restaurants, such as McDonalds, have a responsibility for the safety of staff and their customers. They should have risk assessments, indicating what should happen in extreme weather circumstances – and they should follow the procedures within those risk assessments. Clearly, that did not happen on the above occasion.
If you are injured and you think that someone else was to blame, contact our personal injury experts who will carry out an interview with you, free of charge, in which they can assess your case. If we can take on your case, we will offer you a no-win, no-fee arrangement. You can find out more about making a personal injury claim on our web pages.