Food & Drink Case Success
Food for Thought Winter '19
Early investigation, key document retention and ensuring witness contact information is noted are just some of the steps that assist with case defensibility. An open Facebook page is always an added bonus!
In a recent case success for a major F&B client, we secured a discontinuance shortly before trial on a claim where the allegations didn’t quite ring true, reducing a potential reserve of £27,000.
The claimant made a public liability claim against her employer, a public house, in respect of an accident that was alleged to have occurred the day she was dismissed from her employment. She pleaded she had been dismissed for ‘performance issues’.
The accident was said to have occurred when the employer had knowingly left items on the floor, which were a tripping hazard, causing her to be knocked unconscious suffering a shoulder and knee injury. It was also alleged the light in the area was not working, adding to the danger of the tripping hazard.
A witness statement and photographs were taken shortly after the accident, confirming the light was working 30 minutes prior and there was no evidence of the tripping hazard alleged. The witness recorded some suspicions about the mechanics of the accident and the way in which the claimant and her sister, who was a witness to the accident, were acting.
This was followed up by a more in-depth investigation by the in-house risk manager a few months later with official statements, risk assessments, photographs containing measurements of the area where the accident occurred and other key documents retained.
Once Keoghs were instructed, steps were taken to strengthen the evidence of the key witness. The witness had long left her employment, but efforts were made to locate her and encourage her to assist in defending this claim.
Intelligence was carried out and Facebook entries captured showing the claimant posing for selfies just weeks after her accident, when her shoulder injury should have prevented her from doing this.
In depth enquiries were made to establish the cause of the claimant’s dismissal which had been pleaded as ‘performance issues’. It was established the dismissal was as a result of allegations of falsifying health and safety records and making fraudulent petty cash claims.
Various documents evidencing the same were able to be disclosed to discredit the case, ultimately leading to the discontinuance.
A great result!
For more information, please contact Jenny Woods