Holidaymaker told a ‘wet bum’ not a good enough reason to sue TUI for £100,000
A holidaymaker who sued holiday giants TUI after slipping over in a luxury hotel juice bar has been told by a judge that a “wet bum” was not good enough evidence on which to bring her £100,000 compensation claim.
Judge Heather Baucher said Karen Carey, 64, had not proved she slipped in a puddle of juice or water just because she claimed she had a “wet bum” after her fall.
Mrs Carey shattered her right ankle when she slipped as she and her husband, Peter, were breakfasting at the luxury H10 Taburiente Playa Hotel in Tenerife six years ago.
She went down on her backside after her feet went from under her as she walked towards the fruit juice bar.
The fracture had a catastrophic effect on her life and career, Central London County Court heard, plaguing her with chronic pain and drastically limiting her mobility.
Mrs Carey sued holiday giants TUI Ltd for £112,620 over the January 2016 accident, which her lawyers blamed on a puddle of juice or water which hotel cleaners failed to mop up.
But Judge Baucher has now thrown out her claim, saying she had not given enough detail about how she slipped to found a ruling of negligence on the part of TUI.
In evidence, Mrs Carey told the judge that she didn’t know exactly how she slipped, but had surmised there must have been a puddle of juice or water on the floor because afterwards “my bum was wet”.
But dismissing her case, the judge said: “She simply has no idea on what, if anything, she slipped.
“Mrs Carey’s shorts could have been wet for any number of reasons [after her fall] and that is not enough on which to found liability.”
Mrs Carey and her husband had booked a seven-day package at the four-star beachside hotel, which boasts spectacular views, four swimming pools and several restaurants.
The fall came on the fifth morning of the couple’s week-long winter dream holiday – and led to an ambulance rushing her off to hospital in La Palma, as well as repeat bouts of surgery once she was back in the UK.
TUI’s legal team denied all liability, disputing that any liquid had been spilled on the floor, which they say was regularly cleaned up by hotel staff.
Sketching out the circumstances of the accident her barrister, Andrew Young, told the court: “Mrs Carey and her husband sat down at a table and the claimant then stood up and started walking towards the area where fruit juice was available in order to obtain a drink.
“As she came near to the area, her feet slipped from underneath her and she fell to the floor twisting her right ankle as she did so.”
He added: “She saw nothing on the floor before she fell, but she noticed that her bottom was wet after she had fallen.
“Her husband was summoned by a waiter immediately after the accident and he also noticed that the floor around the claimant was wet.”
But handing victory to TUI, the judge concluded: “The burden is on the claimant to prove there was something on the floor which caused her to slip and that burden has not been met.
“It is sad that the claimant fell over with such devastating impact during this accident, but that is just what is was, an accident. I hope that Mrs Carey can now find some way to move forward.”
The judge awarded costs in the case to TUI, but Mrs Carey will not have to pay the bill unless the court makes a further order at a future date.