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Fallen Mirror smashes by my son


jim2007
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Ive just reveived a call from my Partner who has been out shopping. She was in a store when a free standing mirror toppled over and smashed on my son who is 3 and a half years old(he is not hurt). She is very traumatised and ask to speak to the manager to report. I cannot leave work at the moment. Does anyone have any advice for me as I want to go in there myself but this may not be a good thing!

 

Thanks

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Normally most premises have some kind of accident book, both for staff and for members of the public so you should ensure a record is made of the incident. Hopefully he will be fine and you won't need to take it further, but I think the Health and safety people can look into a complaint if you wanted to.

Hope is is all right and I am sure someone with more knowledge will be along soon.

hugs to your partner and son.

ali x

Btw I am no expert just give notes based on what I have read on here and other forums/sites, plus my own experiences and investigations.

 

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It's what could have been i'm worried about! I'm gonna get an official report from the shop as they have marked it down as being their fault. Then try and approach a no win no fee lawyer to see if there are any grounds for sueing them. Anyone have any constructive comments?

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IMO you will find it hard to sue as your child has no injuries so what exactly would you be claiming for ? You can't claim on what if's it wouldn't stand up in court .

 

If you are going to use a no win no fee solicitor I find it astonishing that you are asking for advice here seen this is a self help site :confused:

When you want to fool the world, tell the truth. :D

Advice & opinions of Janet-M are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified insured professional if you have any

doubts.

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Not sure it I could sue but wanted to seek opinions from others. 1 person(at work) advised me to try and sue by using a lawyer. I'm not saying that I was going to do that but as I had no other advice at the time then that looked a good bet. Thanks for your advice Janet-M. Ill prob just lodge a compliant with the company and tell them to not leave mirrors leaning up against walls!

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If your partner was traumatised then that may attract some compensation.

 

It's an emotive subject and I suspect you will get some strong opinions on the subject.

 

Glad to hear your son is OK and on a practical point be careful of showing too much trauma over it as he may get unecessarily scared. Life is full of risks and he needs to be prepared to take some to get by otherwise he will become a recluse. You will need to help your Partner too for similar reasons.

Wishing you all the best with this. Stay calm for the family's sake

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yay lets go down the american 'lets sue for anything' route. Thats whats sending (or partly so) this country to the dogs. Yes it was traumatic, no there was no damage, move on and accept whatever appology and small £50 voucher or whatever that the shop offers.

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Its not a case of making money out of my sons accident. I wouldn't want this to happen to someone else who may not be as fortunate, the company need to realise that they were extremely lucky(we realise that we were). My partner has been very traumatised by this as she saw it happen but was powerless to stop it.

 

Only positive advice please.

 

Jim

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Its not a case of making money out of my sons accident. I wouldn't want this to happen to someone else who may not be as fortunate, the company need to realise that they were extremely lucky(we realise that we were). My partner has been very traumatised by this as she saw it happen but was powerless to stop it.

 

Only positive advice please.

 

Jim

 

Well usually the point of "suing" is to obtain some financial gain, so you would be making money out of it. But as everyone else has already said, if there isn't any "damage" then it would be hard to obtain any sort of settlement.

 

I'm sure the SHOP wouldn't want it to happen to anyone else, either, but I fail to see how taking them to court will help. Unless you honestly think they've been grossly negligent, and can prove it.

 

You haven't explained how the mirror came to fall, either. Granted a free standing mirror isn't a nice thing to fall on you, but unless it was setup incorrectly, or its stand broke, there must have been something else contributing to its fall. Things don't just topple over for no reason. Can you be sure that your son (being at the age to touch things) didn't help it its demise? Can you prove it?! If you can't, I don't see how you could win a court case.

 

The store would just need to suggest that your partner didn't have your son under close supervision, and without CCTV or similar to prove otherwise, it would be your partner's word against there's.

 

I know you asked for positive feedback only, but if you post on a public forum, you are inviting comment from anyone and everyone - positive or otherwise. You can pick and choose the advice you choose to accept, but you can't prevent people posting their constructive opinion.

 

It is my honest and constructive opinon that getting an ambulance chasing firm in under these (or any) circumstances is part of the reason society has a problem these days. Unless your partner has a more convincing story than you've put across in your posts here, I can't see anyone taking this on for a no-win, no-fee basis anyway, as quite simply there's nothing to chase.

 

If you want to do ANYTHING then write to the manager (or head-office if its a branch) and insist on a full safety inspection... but suing them as a "punishment" to make them think twice about doing it again - that doesn't seem right - although I'm willing to believe there may be more facts that you simply haven't shared with us which might change things.

 

Kids always used to be resilient little buggers. They probably still would be if we didn't try TOO hard to protect them... :rolleyes:

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Like I said Jim, you are likely to get some strong opinions.

 

I actually have a different view on all this. Companies only understand things in terms of money. If the law was to step in and fine them for health & safety breaches as has been tried in some very high profile cases the company fights it as it is just a cost/benefit consideration for them. The prosecuting authority loses the drive to fight as they know it will inevitably end in a high cost to the department/taxpayer. On the other hand if the person affected by the event were to take the claim there is a whole different perspective on the claim. It's not a cost/benefit but rather a strong deterrent factor as not only will the company have to fight every claim, the adverse publicity may do enormous damage to the caring public image they are trying to promote. That image is of course an attempt to maximise profit, not to make the customer feel good.

 

So in the light of the profit maximisation driver of the company then, the only controlling influence the customer has is to seek financial redress when there is an measurable impact.

 

Now the problem is that the newspapers like to promote a notion that this is distasteful. It is easy to stir up and many people agree with them. Blame is shifted and everyone tries to pressurise.

 

In your case even if your son did topple the mirror, the store should have made it safe, made it sufficiently secure that a young child could not topple it over. That's what the H&S laws are designed to do but they are not working properly because staff get complacent. It's human nature.

 

Now I know I will get flamed for my view, but it is one I have long held and I have yet to see anything better working to regulate companies who will take risks or become complacent if nothing is done. It may be sad as some have posted but I'm afraid it is not as clear cut on who is to blame for that as many would have us believe.

 

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and I wish your family well. Sorry to ramble on!

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Well i'm sorry but no shop should have anything like that standalone they should be fixed to a surface you always have to consider the most stupid idiotic thing any member of the public (children included) could do and a mirror that can fall over is a huge no no in my opinion

 

I say go to HO and make a formal complaint and see what their attitude is if theyre really sorry and offer to make good then fair enough if they say get stuffed then go get em

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Thanks joneshousehold & Rich44 for your comments. They are comforting to hear. I have obtained an accident report from the store and they have confirmed what happened they also provided an address for head office. Just to confirm a few others things :

 

The mirror was leaning against the wall. This was a easel mirrol designed to open into an A shape. This was not open prop due to the fact the store is quite compact.

The staff have refused to comment anymore on the incident as advised by a member of management

They did however confirm before that 'they are instructed to display the items in the shop as per HO request'.

My partner has booked an appointment to see her GP for herself and our Son as she is having trouble sleeping and regularly checks on him through the night.

My son has had nightmares since the accident and mentions that he has a sore head(I presume this relates to him remembering what happened).

 

These are just a few comments I would like to share with you's. Like I said before this is not about seeking financial gain but to stop this from happening again to anyone else. Im glad that there are other people that share the same opinion.

I am aware that this is open to anyone's comments/suggestions as it is a forum and people have different opinions. My judgement has been made on the matter.

I am likely to write a letter to HO describing what happened, asking for a reply to see what they have to say. If they want to be difficult then I will be difficult.

 

Thanks

 

Jim

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You're welcome, my son is 11 months old (wheres the time go?) and I know if that had happened to him I would be beside myself even if as in your case he was ok.

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A shop has a duty of care to display its items, fixtures and fittings safely... so if the mirror was negligently displayed (as I referred to in my own post) then the shop is potentially at fault... there's no dispute there, although proving it might still be interesting.

 

I don't agree, however, that a shop (or anywhere else for that matter) is under any obligation to nail things down so that there is ZERO POSSIBILITY of them being pulled down by a determined child/dog/person/stray elbow/rucksack etc - that's a bit like saying you should have a fence along the length of every road, just in case someone strays off the pavement.

 

I'm sorry if this is playing Devil's Advocate, but I think you need to look at both sides. If you do take this further, these are sort of questions that would be raised. You should be prepared to be told that your partner should have kept your child under closer supervision, as presumably if she stood there watching it, she wasn't close enough to prevent it.

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I dont think you will find I said that (although others may have done), what I said was "you have to consider" not you must glue everything down and make it impossible but hello if they had done any form of risk assessment a potentially unstable mirror is blindingly obvious, im not saying that from a legal point of view because I dont know but from a common sense one its bloomin obvious.

 

As for kids are resilient little buggers....

 

I agree for the most part they may be but if hit with shards of broken mirror that could have left the child very seriously hurt or worse that hardly comes into it.

 

Like I said common sense you dont see this kind of thing in shops these days for that exact reason, I can remember the last time I saw a mirror like that, probably when I was a kid lol

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I dont think you will find I said that (although others may have done), what I said was "you have to consider" not you must glue everything down and make it impossible but hello if they had done any form of risk assessment a potentially unstable mirror is blindingly obvious, im not saying that from a legal point of view because I dont know but from a common sense one its bloomin obvious.

 

As for kids are resilient little buggers....

 

I agree for the most part they may be but if hit with shards of broken mirror that could have left the child very seriously hurt or worse that hardly comes into it.

 

Like I said common sense you dont see this kind of thing in shops these days for that exact reason, I can remember the last time I saw a mirror like that, probably when I was a kid lol

 

Yeah, I do partly agree... but not on the bit where you have to consider every stupid thing that a person might do.

 

I can't think of a single major department store which doesn't have (for example) china and crockery displayed on open shelves. Anyone (child OR adult) could knock that stuff off if they weren't being careful.

 

Come to think of it, something as inoffensive as a store escalator could, I'm sure, injure an unsuspecting child who didn't know how it worked. It is, effectively, one huge trip hazzard after all...

 

As a child, if I'd managed to hurt MYSELF by doing something stupid, I'd be on the end of a telling off, rather than sympathy, and a strong warning not to do it again.

 

As neither the original poster nor any of us were there, we can't ever say for sure exactly what happened, and I'm certainly not pointing the finger of blame at his child or partner.

 

As I've already said, if the shop can be proven to be negligent, an internal complaint should be warning enough for them to change the way they do things. The original question appeared to be "should I sue them" and my answer to that is STILL a resounding "no"...

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the 'should I sue them' quote was made as at the time I was very angry and obviously my words reflected that.

 

A concern is that the A mirror(easel) was leaning against the wall unfolded which in itself is a hazard as this should have been displayed as an A mirror! so even if my child did knock it(which i'm advised he didn't) then the mirror would have stood up. If you have a mounted mirror on display it's normally mounted! The mirror simply slid down the wall hit off my sons footwear and bounced back to his head. Could have been bad.

As for my partner being away from him well I know that she would not have been a few steps away from him, but these things seem to happen so quickly making the accident unavoidable.

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Guest ArthurP
Well usually the point of "suing" is to obtain some financial gain, so you would be making money out of it.

 

There is no financial gain in suing as the award would most probably be compensation which means that any awarded should reflect, or compensate, the injury.

 

That's not making money. It's being compensated.

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Hi everyone.

 

We have had a chat over the weekend and have decided to write a letter to the store's head office. This will be to the point asking them to provide us with an explanation of what happened. My son is having problems sleeping(norm hes in bed for 7 and sleeps through) keeps waking after having nightmares and wetting the bed(he's been toilet trained since 2). My partner and son both have doctors appointmant today to discuss with our GP the affects this has had.

 

My main objective for this is that we, as a family can get on with things as before and the company can except responsibilty for this. This will be sought in the form of a personal apology and if neccesary financial compensation.

 

Thanks

 

JIm

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Hi everyone.

 

We have had a chat over the weekend and have decided to write a letter to the store's head office. This will be to the point asking them to provide us with an explanation of what happened. My son is having problems sleeping(norm hes in bed for 7 and sleeps through) keeps waking after having nightmares and wetting the bed(he's been toilet trained since 2). My partner and son both have doctors appointmant today to discuss with our GP the affects this has had.

 

My main objective for this is that we, as a family can get on with things as before and the company can except responsibilty for this. This will be sought in the form of a personal apology and if neccesary financial compensation.

 

Thanks

 

JIm

A personal apology is the very least you should expect. A very firm assurance that the incident will be fully investigated and steps taken to make sure it, or anything like it never happens again should be the main point.

 

financial compensation? wont help your son to sleep at night or repair any damage to his sleeping patterns that have occured since, money wont mean a thing to him.

 

however, the continual stress, fear and anger about this incident from both his parents will be picked by him and may have more of a contribution to how he is now rather than the mirror incident itself, which being so young he would not have recognised any danger from. Your partner will have been extremely upset witnessing this 'accident', mums in that situation tend to 'overprotect' afterwards

I am a parent myself and i know how our moods, the anger we express ect is sensed by our children, something to consider maybe?

Anything I post is my own opinion and views based on experience. My posts may not represent the views of my Employer, work collegues, or my Mum, i thought them up all by myself!

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Well i'm sorry but no shop should have anything like that standalone they should be fixed to a surface you always have to consider the most stupid idiotic thing any member of the public (children included) could do and a mirror that can fall over is a huge no no in my opinion

 

Coincidentally, I was in our local Debenhams yesterday afternoon having a nose at their glassware and porcelain offerings. There was an uncontrolled 2 year old having a strop because his mum wouldn't let him have a second packet of Hasbro sugar sweets. I think it was deliberate, but he went over to a stand of glassware and pushed it causing a number of items to smash on the floor (value probably in the hundreds!). The items were not cemented to the stand, and the stands were not welded to the floor.

 

I would not call the store stupid and idiotic - this phrase would be more appropriately addressed to the mum and tot.

 

Unfortunately I had only paid for 30 mins parking, so I could not see the outcome.

On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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I dont see how this relates to my situation. I understand that things can't be 'cemented' or 'fixed' down but when it's a mirror that wasn't set up correctly smashing onto my sons head then thats slightly different!

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Its amazing that an innocent thread asking for advice posted just under a week ago can generate such diverse comments.

 

I agree with Jim.

 

Shops do have a duty of care to ensure that the enviroment in which we shop is safe but equally we, as parents, also have a duty of care to ensure that our offspring are kept under control.

 

In the case posted by Esio I would not be at all surpised if Debenhams did not end up charging the parent for the goods that were damaged, and rightly so.

 

I seem to remeber a placard that I saw in a department store years ago that read:

 

Lovely to handle

Lovely to hold

If it gets broken

We consider it sold

PPMAN159

 

If this comment has helped please click on the scales.

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