The mother of a GMB member from Middlesbrough has secured significant compensation from Morrisons Supermarket following an accident at their Guisborough store which left her with a nasty laceration to her leg and permanent scarring. Frances Donnelly secured the compensation through her daughter’s GMB family membership, with the support of leading personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors.

The accident took place in June 2006 whilst Mrs Donnelly was doing her weekly shop. The basket got stuck and the holder swung around hitting her leg as did the basket. The basket holder had no brakes or guard to prevent it from swinging around. As a result, Mrs Donnelly sustained a nasty laceration to her leg which has left her with permanent scarring.

Wound required 20 stitches

Her daughter, Maureen Male, explains: “My mother is 72 and her confidence has been badly affected by this accident. It was quite traumatic for her; firstly, she was taken to Guisborough Hospital where her wound was cleaned and bandaged up; she was then advised to attend James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where she had 20 stitches. Both the nurse at the hospital and the district nurse said that they had seen similar injuries in the past.”

Ian McKenzie, GMB Organiser representing members in the Commercial Services Sector, said: “This is a good example of the many benefits of union membership; had it not been for the Friends and Family scheme, Mrs Donnelly would not have received a penny in compensation. It is unacceptable for a major brand such as Morrisons to put members of the public at risk from injury in this way. Hopefully it will serve as a warning to them and to other retailers - large and small.”

Representing Mrs Donnelly, Diane Davison, from Thompsons Solicitors in Middlesbrough said: “We’re pleased that Mrs Donnelly’s case has been settled quickly and successfully. She is an elderly lady who has been badly affected by this serious accident which was caused by a dangerous basket design at Morrisons’ store.”