In the press: Tesco fined for ‘slippery floor’ after pensioner broke his hip
Tesco has been fined £733,000 after a 91-year-old man broke his hip when he slipped on water on the floor of one of its stores.
Dennis Satchell had to have surgery following the fall at the shop in Jarman Park in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on 6 August 2015.
The water had been leaking from a blocked drain since June, Luton Magistrates' Court was told.
Tesco pleaded guilty to two charges of health and safety breaches.
Mr Satchell had been pushing his trolley when he suddenly slipped on the water, the court was heard. The leak came from a blocked drain under one of the refrigerated units in the dairy and meat sections. But the court was told the chillers were not turned off and the aisle was not closed to the public, despite the problem persisting from early June through until Mr Satchell's injury in August.
Dacorum Borough Council brought the case against Tesco, claiming breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company pleaded guilty to two charges charges of failing to discharge its duty to ensure customers and staff were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
Stephen Hockman QC for Tesco said it had apologised to Mr Satchel for the injury he had sustained - and for its failure to deal properly with the water-leaking problem. "Having occurred, it should have been dealt with more precisely and quickly and if it had been the injury to Mr Satchel could have been avoided," he said.
District Judge Nicholas Leigh-Smith will decide in the next few weeks whether Tesco should also pay for the prosecution costs.
A Tesco spokesman said: "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our colleagues and customers and we are deeply sorry for this accident. Since this happened in 2015, we've given all staff at this store improved training in health and safety and maintenance escalation procedures to make sure this doesn't happen again."