Court awards full indemnity from Council

Crosse & Crosse acted for Stagecoach, operating out of Northampton, in this claim which was tried over the course of two days in the Northampton County Court in late February 2012.

Mr. Cartmel was injured when he slipped on a slippery floor in the gents toilets in the Northampton Bus Station in May 2005. The bus station was owned by Northampton Borough Council and Stagecoach were one of several users of the bus station, along with various other bus and coach operators.

Stagecoach accepted that they were in part responsible for the injuries sustained by Mr. Cartmel as the accident occurred in “work premises” and although they didn’t own them, they had a legal duty to Mr. Cartmel to make sure that the facilities were reasonably safe for him to use. We were able to agree the compensation that Mr. Cartmel should receive with his solicitors. However, Stagecoach in turn sought an indemnity for the compensation they had paid Mr. Cartmel from the Council as it was our contention that the state of the toilets in the bus station was ultimately the responsibility of the Local Authority. Not only did the Council own the bus station, but under the license arrangements the Council were responsible for cleaning and maintaining the toilets too. The Council were not prepared to accept liability for this and so the matter had to be determined by the Court. In February 2012 Judge Charles Harris QC awarded Stagecoach a full indemnity from the Council in relation to the claim brought by Mr. Cartmel. As a consequence the Council were ordered to reimburse Stagecoach for the damages and costs due to Mr. Cartmel, the costs incurred by Stagecoach in dealing with Mr. Carmel’s claim and, the costs incurred by them in bringing the claim against the Council.

Richard Stevinson who handled the claim for Stagecoach said “We and our clients were delighted. It would have been impossible to have achieved a better outcome. This was protracted litigation and quite rightly Stagecoach will be fully reimbursed for any outlay they have had to make in this case. We are now in the process of recovering these funds from the Council and their solicitors.”