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BANKER SUES FOR £1.5 IN COMPENSATION AFTER SLIPPING ON A KILLER PETAL

here we go again..!

Whenever an interesting claim for compensation is before the Courts the media, particularly the tabloids tend to get on the bandwagon and claim that “compensation culture” is rife and that the public are not prepared to accept personal responsibility. A cursory glance at the various comments placed on message boards and the like from various members of the public, reflect perhaps a more widespread notion that the UK is heading towards a US style compensation culture. This being despite reports from the Department of Constitutional Affairs showing that in reality the facts say quite the opposite.

It is not for the sake of saying it but lawyers will often say that there are always two sides to a story. A recent claim by a banker against a flower shop has been successful on the grounds that the owner of the flower shop had a duty of care to all those who visited the shop and its surrounding area. Because the claim was made by a person with a high level of income his potential claim is in the region of 1.5 million pounds.

It is often lost on the media that we have a fault based system. Anyone making a claim has to show that the third party is negligent and it is only when either the third party, their insurers or the Courts have considered them to be negligent that they are entitled to pay compensation.

Like many aspects of life, education and globalisation has also meant an increase in awareness of a person’s entitlement to their rights. Therefore in my opinion we should be proud of the common law countries where public awareness of their rights is so advanced that claims such as these have evolved.

It is for nothing that John Locke said that :-

The end of law is, not to abolish or restrain but to preserve and enlarge freedom

In my opinion evolution of common law as evidenced by claims such as this is in fact enlargement of freedom as envisaged by John Locke.

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