Please don’t think this is petty at all. Depending on the nature of these alleged injuries, it could be quite serious although if it was, you would have thought that the neighbour or the alleged injured person would be kicking up more of a fuss. Please don’t think that this is trifling at all.
Just let me explain the legal situation for claiming negligence.
1 There has to be a duty of care (there is)
2 the duty of care has to be breached (there is no evidence of this in the mat would have to be shown to be defective.)
3 As a result of the (potential) breach, a claimant has to suffer loss
4 the loss must be reasonably foreseeable.
So for example whilst the loss of income as a result of any negligence may be reasonably foreseeable, the loss of the cost of a holiday which they can’t go on is not reasonably foreseeable.
Just because someone tripped on a mat (2 above) doesn’t necessarily mean that the duty has been breached. It would be breached if the mat was defective such that it created a trip hazard.
If the mat has has been there for some months, then that is a big argument that the freeholder has a large responsibility here. They’ve allowed this to remain in place but no about it. If your mother and the other flat owner owned the freehold jointly, then they are in effect suing themselves!
Your mother may have some leverage here if the lease of the property does not allow the neighbour to run a business from the flat or if she would ordinarily need planning permission (depends on the nature of the business), because although your mother may or may not be at fault, she may be able to “persuade” the neighbour to persuade the friend to drop the claim in exchange for not raising an issue with the freeholder or the local authority about any breach in the lease (it would be necessary to check the lease or breach of planning consent (depending on the business). Your mother needs to make sure that it doesn’t come out as blackmail. Your mother needs to check the lease.
I apologise in respect of the comment I made about getting the mat back. I see that it was the neighbours mat which has now quickly disappeared! Potentially a wise pre-emptive in these circumstances.
There may not be a management company but there is a freeholder and put the word freeholder in place of my reference to management company in the previous response.
Before you go (you can come back at any time), please don’t forget to use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! The thread remains open. We can still exchange emails.