No compensation for garage injury

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A DONCASTER woman left in agony with a shattered knee after slipping on a supermarket garage forecourt will go without a penny in compensation after an Appeal Court ruling.

Susan Lupton had just filled up her Mercedes with diesel at the garage in Bramley, Rotherham, when her feet went from under her as she reached for her handbag.

She suffered a fractured left knee, and an ambulance had to be called to help her as staff and others huddled round to keep her warm on December 1, 2008.

Mrs Lupton, aged 57, of Wilsic Road, Wilsic, has since campaigned through the courts to prove that a diesel spillage caused her fall and to win substantial compensation for her serious injury from Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.

Backing up her case was an ambulance paramedic who said he was ‘certain’ there had been a fuel spill, and described the ground underfoot as ‘black and slippery’. He said one of the ambulance crew had also nearly fallen.

But the supermarket chain was exonerated at Sheffield County Court last year when a judge preferred the evidence of three staff members at the petrol station who insisted there was no spillage and, if there had been, they would have cleared it up swiftly.

Mrs Lupton’s barrister, Richard Baker, attacked that decision as ‘perverse’ at the Court of Appeal.

He argued the ambulance man’s evidence had been ‘clear and cogent’ and he should have been accepted as the most reliable witness.

However, while acknowledging that another judge might have reached a different conclusion, Lord Justice Elias said: “I can understand why Mrs Lupton may have been surprised by the result, but that is not a basis on which this court can interfere.”

The three Morrison’s staff members were adamant there was ‘nothing untoward’ on the day of the accident, and it was a matter for the trial judge to assess the witness evidence, he added, refusing Mrs Lupton permission to appeal.