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News archive for December 4, 2012

Woman receives settlement after tumble in Superstore

The owners of the Whitehorse Real Canadian Superstore have been ordered to pay about $26,000 to a woman who fell in the store six years ago, fracturing her knee.

By Ashley Joannou on December 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm

The owners of the Whitehorse Real Canadian Superstore have been ordered to pay about $26,000 to a woman who fell in the store six years ago, fracturing her knee.

Mary Alfred sued Loblaws Inc. for negligence after she accidentally stepped on a four-wheeled dolly, fell and fractured her right knee in June 2006.

Alfred, then 61, had come to Whitehorse from Pelly Crossing to grocery shop.

The dolly, which is normally used to move stacks of shopping baskets, was near the customer service desk, where she had gone to get help.

In his decision released last week, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower said the Superstore was required to protect its customers from “reasonably foreseeable” hazards.

“The fact that Ms. Alfred stepped on a dolly which was on the floor in an area in front of the customer service counter is evidence that a Superstore staff person failed to comply with the store’s policy of removing the dollies from the floor after usage,” he said.

“This was a breach of Superstore’s duty of care to protect its costumers from reasonably foreseeable hazards.”

The judge pointed out the grocery store’s lawyers made no arguments to suggest otherwise.

Gower awarded the woman $35,000 in damages. He lowered that amount to $26,250, a reduction of 25 per cent, to take into account Alfred’s role in her own fall.

In court, Loblaws’ lawyers argued that Alfred had two chances to see the dolly before she fell.

The first was when she and her husband initially approached the costumer service counter and the second as she turned to the right just before stepping on the dolly.

Alfred also wanted Loblaws to pay damages for a second fall two years later outside her home.

She claimed she was walking toward the house when she stepped on her right foot in a way that caused her right knee to buckle.

She fractured her right leg just above the ankle.

Alfred argued that the injury from her second fall would not have happened if it weren’t for the weakness in her knee from the first fall.

Therefore, she said, Loblaws should have to pay damages for that fall too.

But Gower said Alfred failed to prove a link between the two tumbles.

He pointed out that an x-ray of Alfred’s leg after the second fall showed that her knee had fully healed.

This is not the first time the Real Canadian Superstore has been sued for negligance.

Earlier this year, a Whitehorse woman filed a similar lawsuit after she slipped on a wet patch of floor and suffered a concussion.

Willard Phelps, who briefly led a Conservative government in the Yukon in 1985, also took court action againt Loblaws after a fall in the Superstore.

CommentsAdd a comment

June Jackson

Dec 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Wow..isn’t Loblaws just a money tree..I want to get right over and see what I can get hurt on..I could use some money too.
I am solely to fault for not getting to sue them sooner.  I wear proper foot wear, I watch where I am going, I am alert to others..I have done myself out of the cost of a new car..mine being 14 years old.

Antje beaman

Dec 5, 2012 at 12:12 am

I am very sorry to hear that Superstore is liable for someones misfortune. What has the world come to? This is ridiculous .. A person doesn’t pay attention and makes another one “pay” for it.


Dec 5, 2012 at 9:08 am

Alright, I can see that this first fall is Lowblaws fault in a way. But to try and sue them for your own fall on your own property is ridiculous. What is going on with this world, people can’t accept their own mistakes. They have to blame it on someone else. Way to much of that here lately.


Dec 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I fell at Superstore a few months back.  Someone was washing out a fridge and there was water on the floor.  I rebroke the 6 ribs I had already broken 3 months before that.  The person washing the fridge was quick to say “no water on floor”, before I even said anything!! I had to point it out to her three times.  I wish I would have reported it but I was in so much pain I just wanted to get out of there.  Superstore needs to better train there employees on safety concerns.  This person could barely speak or understand english so I am not sure how far any training would go!

Milly J

Dec 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Maybe this misfortune would not have happened if the Superstore cleared out all the junk in the path of the customers, I know this elder and yes, it is a misfortune.  It’s too bad the Judge took 10gs for her carelessness.  If you want to make comments about this, then go to the Superstore and see for yourself.  Now this elder has lost the full use of one leg because of this injury and is on crutches.  Thank you for your positive comments to this incident.  Another law suit happened earlier and this guy is a professional lawyer, and he got the same law suit, but in a high number bracket!! Thank you!!


Dec 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

It is a business or a store’s responsibility, to ensure that customers and employees in their premises are safe and clear of obstacles that exist due to employees or other natures.
Yes we obviously have some responsibility in the matter where we should look before proceeding. However at the end of the day the obstacles shouldn’t exist in the first place.
I’m saying this as a manager for these big box locations and not just as a customer.

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