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November 19th 2015

Accidents in Public Places

£8,000 compensation for fitness class participant injured in slip on wet leisure centre floor

Jane Woodcock

Jane Woodcock

Senior Legal Executive and Head of Personal Injury

£8,000 compensation for fitness class participant injured in slip on wet leisure centre floor

A man who broke his wrist after slipping on a wet floor during a fitness class at a Hull leisure centre has been awarded damages of £8,000 by the courts, following representation from Hudgell Solicitors.

A man who broke his wrist after slipping on a wet floor during a fitness class at a Hull leisure centre has been awarded damages of £8,000 by the courts, following representation from Hudgell Solicitors.

The 38-year-old had been taking part in a circuit training session at Ennerdale Leisure Centre, in Sutton Road, Hull, when he slipped whilst running a lap of the hall, fracturing his left wrist.

The accident resulted in him being left in a plaster cast for six weeks, and not able to carry out his work as a factory manager in the city during that time. He now struggles with lifting and carrying heavy items.

Hull City Council denied any wrong-doing or responsibility for the accident, which happened on May 10, 2012.

However, following representation Hudgell Solicitors, the matter ended at Hull County Court, where the local authority were ruled to have been at fault and were ordered to compensate him for his injuries.

Personal injury specialist Jane Woodcock, of Hudgell Solicitors, said staff at the leisure centre had failed to ensure the surface was safe and dry between classes.

“Whist we appreciate that the gym staff in leisure centres have very little time between classes to set up, it is however essential that they ensure the area is safe for all class members, and in this case they did not,” she said.

“The council denied all liability for the injury, claiming he had fallen on sweat and that the gym had been checked before the session, but our witnesses all said this was not the case.

“Slipping and falling on a hard surface is very painful, and in this case our client sustained a fractured left wrist which made work difficult for him in the aftermath of the injury.”

The man had been attending the fitness classes for several months before the accident happened, and said he was happy to see the matter finally resolved, with the court judgement in his favour.

“At first when I slipped I was just embarrassed and wanted to get up quickly before anyone noticed, but then I noticed I had fallen on a patch of water, which was obviously dangerous given the nature of the class,” he said.

“My wrist became more and more painful and I left early to go to hospital that night, where I found it was broken. The injury made life awkward as I had to be off work for six weeks, and even now I have to be careful when lifting, and my wrist aches in cold weather.

“I also train a junior football team, and obviously I couldn’t do that for weeks, and I couldn’t do as much with own children.”

Mrs Woodcock was also critical of Hull City Council for failing to admit fault for the injury earlier, leading to the case taking more than three years to settle, and needing to be considered at the County Court.

She said: “Quite simply, the exercise area should have been safe and clear of water for the start of the exercise session, and it was not. Either the gym staff missed it, or they had not carried out an inspection prior to the session starting.

“Hull City Council denied all blame from the out-set, which was disappointing as it resulted in this case lasting far longer than it should have, and costs escalating as a result. Hopefully, they have now accepted that mistakes were made, and lessons have been learned to ensure a repeat can be avoided.”

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