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Death of Shopper Linked to Roll Cage Accident in Tesco

October 16, 2014

The death of a 90-year-old great grandmother has been linked with a roll cage accident in Tesco after a hearing at Bradford Coroner´s Court.

Esther Payne from Steeton in West Yorkshire was finalising her pre-Christmas shopping at the Tesco store in Ilkley when, on December 21st, she was hit by a roll-cage trolley full of beauty products that was being manoeuvred through the store by a Tesco employee.

Esther fell and broke her left hip and was taken to the local Airedale Hospital where she underwent surgery to pin her hip. Unfortunately Esther´s health deteriorated and she died on January 3rd from a heart attack.

An inquest into Esther´s death was held at the Bradford Coroner´s Court, where Esther was described as being fit and “feisty” for her age. The court heard medical evidence that one-in-ten elderly patients with injuries similar to Esther´s die within a month, and three-in-ten die within a year.

Assistant Coroner Dominic Bell questioned Tesco’s group safety director Stephen Purser about the company´s policies for the manoeuvring of roll-cage trolleys, and was assured that “the instruction when using a roll cage is to pull, not push it.”

However, according to evidence provided by Bradford Council´s health and safety investigator – Jane Bradbury – staff were pushing the roll-cage trolleys contrary to Tesco´s in-house policy when she made a visit to the supermarket.

Ms Bradbury told the inquest that she had requested to see CCTV footage of the roll cage accident in Tesco, but was told that the accident had occurred in a blind spot and all of the store´s eight cameras had missed it.

Assistant Coroner Dominic Bell and Tesco´s barrister Emily Formby explained to the jury that the lack of CCTV footage and eyewitnesses to the roll cage accident in Tesco made it impossible to establish the cause of the accident.

The jury was also told that it was not the role of the inquest to attribute blame, but to ascertain the cause of death. The jury subsequently reached the conclusion that while Esther´s death was due to a heart attack, complications had arisen due to the roll cage accident in Tesco.

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