How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask F E Smith Your Own Question
F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10399
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

My wife went into a shop, and whilst looking at some items

This answer was rated:

Good morning,
My wife went into a shop, and whilst looking at some items in a showcase, did not notice an unprotected candle alight at almost ground level. Her coat/jacket caught fire, and she was lucky to escape without injury to herself. The coat burnt, of course. She came home in a state of shock. All the other customers in the shop ran out in fright.
The shop has offered to replace the coat, and give a credit note for an unspecified amount.
Can you please tell me, what is our legal position ? Do we take them to court,
Advise Health and Safety, accept their miserly offer considering it could easily have been extremely serious, or.........? Appreciate your advice. Thank you,
Derek Rose

Did she actually suffered any injury?

You say that they have offered to give a credit note for an unspecified amount, do you have any idea how much approximately

The owner of the shop is in breach of the provisions of the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 for failing to keep a lawful visitor safe from harm. It is a statutory duty.

As a result of the breach, your wife suffered loss.

She is certainly entitled to the cost of the coat.

If she was not injured, then there is no claim for nearly being injured unless she has suffered a recognised psychiatric injury as a result of this, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That would however need to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist.

Without the psychiatric diagnosis, there is no claim which it is worth going to court over in respect of the injury if they would not pay up willingly.

They have offered to pay for the coat and it’s probably worth a few hundred pounds to them for this to go away if it did go to court, certainly with regard to the personal injuries, it is unlikely that it would produce a favourable result for your wife.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid. It does not cost you anything but helps us greatly.

Best wishes.


F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not understand your phone call offer. I paid you the $44.- but nobody has called me. Does that mean that the money is refunded, or will I get the call ???????

I have just had a client. I need you to let me have your contact details please. Then I will call you.

I have also sent you my email address where you can send the number to.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mr Smth (Customer),
Please call me on 07799 711353. Thank you.

Hello. We have now spoken. Regards