Hotel floor

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Hotel floor

25th September 2015

A family holiday turned into a painful ordeal for a grandmother who fractured her wrist when she slipped and fell on a hotel floor that was “awash with water.”

The woman, who was in her 50s, was made to fight for three years to receive the compensation to which she was entitled, but has now settled her claim for £8,500 after the incident inTenerife.

Specialist holiday accident lawyer Nicola Simpson said her client was left shaken and badly injured after the fall. “It was early in the morning and she had walked out of the hotel to see her grandchildren who were playing in the pool area,” said Nicola, a member of the Travel and International Litigation team at Fentons. “After a few minutes she then headed back to her room to get ready to go to breakfast as a family.”

But as she walked back inside the hotel, the clerical officer slipped and fell heavily on the wet marble floor. “It had not been wet when she had passed that way just minutes earlier,” said Nicola, “but after falling she said she was literally soaking wet, describing it as ‘feeling as though someone had just thrown a bucket of water over the floor’.”

Nicola said that a cleaner had been mopping floors in the area, but had not been there when she left the building moments before and was out of sight when her client went back inside.

“As there were no ‘wet floor’ signs anywhere, my client had no idea that the area would be wet and slippery,” she said. “The marble floor was naturally very shiny anyway so it was not apparent that there was any water on the floor. But in actual fact it was awash with water, making it impossible to walk on safely.”

After the injured lady had been helped to her feet, the hotel receptionist called for a doctor who examined her wrist and thought it might be sprained. “He strapped the wrist up and told my client to rest,” said Nicola. “But she found that difficult as she was in agony for the rest of the holiday. She couldn’t cut her own food up or squeeze suntan lotion from the bottle because of her injured wrist. She needed help with dressing, couldn’t swim with her grandchildren or go on any trips, and was forced to take painkillers to help her get to sleep every night.”

When the family finally returned home, the injured woman was still in so much pain that she attended her local hospital A&E department. “She was x-rayed and advised that she had suffered soft tissue damage to her wrist but also a possible fracture,” said Nicola. “She had to have her wrist put in a brace, before a later MRI scan revealed that she had also severed a tendon in her thumb.”

Nicola said injuries such as these were all too common when people were on Mediterranean package holidays. “We often hear from people who have fallen on slippery surfaces after they have been left wet,” said Nicola. “While the shiny marble floors look great in these resort hotels, they can be very dangerous to unsuspecting holidaymakers if they are left wet. Accidents that on the face of it seem like relatively innocuous slips and trips can actually lead to very painful injuries and long-term effects, as was the case with my client.”

Nicola said immediately after the accident, other guests at the hotel had told her client that they too had fallen or seen others falling. “The same day as my client’s accident, large mats were placed in the hotel’s entrance area, presumably in an effort to stop anyone else from slipping,” said Nicola. “But despite that seemingly showing that the floor was unsafe, my client had to fight for three years in order to win her fight for compensation.”

Nicola said the defendant tour operator did not respond to any correspondence and then passed the claim from an in-house legal team to two different firms of solicitors, before finally returning it to the in-house team.

“Despite being led a merry dance by the defendants, we used our association with a Spanish lawyer to secure the evidence we needed to demonstrate that there should have been signs in place to warn guests that the floor was wet and slippery,” said Nicola. “As the defendants had not complied with any directions and seemingly had no evidence to support their case, they finally settled the claim just a week before the case was due to go to trial.”

Nicola negotiated a settlement of £8,500 on behalf of her client. “After such a lengthy battle my client was delighted to finally receive the compensation to which she was entitled, and move on from the whole ordeal,” she said.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to holiday accidents and illness.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.