Fife Conservative councillor awarded £3000 after Asda fall

A TORY councillor has been awarded more than £3,000 in compensation after he tripped over a wet rubber mat in a branch of Asda.

Councillor Andy Heering of Fife Council. Picture: Contributed/Fife Council
Councillor Andy Heering of Fife Council. Picture: Contributed/Fife Council

Andy Heer, 63, was shopping in the supermarket last year when he fell after stepping on the sodden mat at the entrance to the store.

He banged his head and was left unable to walk after suffering soft tissue damage to his right ankle following the tumble.

The incident happened at the Asda store in Glenrothes, Fife, last February as Mr Heer was shopping for groceries on his way home from a council meeting.

The mat was placed next to Valentine’s Day flowers and it is thought water from the display had leaked on to it.

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Mr Heer, who represents the Conservatives on Fife Council, launched a lawsuit against the company at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

Asda Stores Limited admitted liability and he has now been awarded £3,018 in damages following a hearing before Sheriff Alastair Thornton.

He said: “I was on my way back from a council budget meeting and I went into Asda to get some messages.

“As I walked into the store I stepped on a rubber mat. I didn’t realise at the time but it was absolutely soaking underneath.

“I fell over and banged my head and I was unable to get back up. I couldn’t walk, it was very painful.

“It was two days before Valentine’s Day and there was a display of flowers there so I assume water from them had got on to the mat.”

Mr Heer was taken to hospital following the fall and could not wear shoes for 12 days afterwards. He could not walk unaided for a month after the accident.

The politician said he still has pain in his ankle but was satisfied with the outcome of the court case.

He added: “I thought it was sensible to seek some compensation for what happened.

“My ankle still feels pretty weak and I can’t go on long walks with the dog like I used to.

“I think I have been given a fair settlement.

“The staff in the store at the time were very sympathetic but in a perfect world these things wouldn’t happen.

“I would think Asda have put procedures in place to make sure an incident like this doesn’t happen again.”

Sheriff Thornton ruled Mr Heer was entitled to compensation because of the disruption the injury had caused to his life.

He said: “Because of the associated swelling in his foot he could not wear shoes for about 12 days after the accident. As well as being swollen, the right ankle would not bear weight.

“Accordingly the pursuer was effectively housebound for that 12 day period. It was difficult for him to put weight on the ankle for about one month after the accident. He used the walking stick for most of that month.

“For that period of about one month the pursuer’s activities were substantially restricted. It was difficult for him to go up and down stairs in the home he shares with his partner. Both walking and standing were inhibited.

“In addition the pursuer was unable to attend to his duties as a councillor for a period of about two weeks. He missed five meetings during this period but lost no remuneration.”