Garden centre faces public liability issue over pensioner accident

The owners of a garden centre near Didcot has been accused of breaching health and safety regulations after a pensioner sustained an injury on the premises.

The accident at the Chilton Garden Centre occurred in April 2009, when 78-year-old Derek Barlow tripped over an obstacle and fell whilst shopping at the centre.

A representative for Mr Barlow told Oxford Crown Court that the pensioner was pushing a trolley when his feet became caught in pieces of concrete that were protruding above the floor surface.

It was also alleged that the garden centre knew about the concrete pieces since January 2009 but covered them up with shelves and tables. As a result of the accident, Mr Barlow suffered shoulder and knee injuries.

The owners of the garden centre are now facing prosecution for breaching health and safety regulations Should the court find the garden centre liable for Mr Barlow’s injuries, they may need to rely on public liability insurance (if they have a policy) to cover any fines or compensation costs.

A staff member at the garden centre has reportedly told the court that the concrete pieces were not an obstacle and that there were “dozens” of warning signs in place about them.

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