June 13, 2023 –WILLEMSTAD – Centrum Supermarket has been ordered to pay approximately 21,000 guilders in compensation to a 66-year-old woman who fell and fractured her hip in the supermarket.
The incident occurred in November 2018. The woman tripped over some planks that had been placed in an area of the supermarket undergoing renovation work.
The floor was unfinished, and plywood planks had been placed to allow customers to walk over them and access the products. However, the planks were not properly secured to the floor, causing them to tilt under the woman’s foot, resulting in her fall and hip fracture.
The woman sought compensation from the supermarket for material damages amounting to nearly 35,000 guilders and for non-material damages valued at 50,000 guilders. She claimed damages on the grounds that Centrum Supermarket had not taken sufficient safety measures to warn customers of the dangerous area and the need to walk cautiously.
Leaves much to be desired
According to the judge, the measures taken to warn customers about the renovation work in the supermarket left much to be desired. A sign outside the supermarket indicating that there were ongoing renovations inside and a warning sign about slippery conditions at the location were not sufficient.
There was nothing warning that one could trip over the planks and to be careful. Even in the entire supermarket, on the frozen food side, there are warning signs about slippery floors. According to an investigative report, this area should have been closed off to prevent people from shopping there.
During the hearing, the woman stated that she was unable to clean two apartments she manages, resulting in them not being rented out. There were also delays in the construction of several studios. Due to her situation, she was unable to oversee the construction.
The judge awarded the woman nearly eleven thousand guilders in compensation for material damages and ten thousand guilders for non-material damages. Additionally, the supermarket must pay almost ten thousand guilders in legal costs.