Ex-student sues after slipping on spilt drinks

Roxanne Bell claims the floor at Potterrow was 'awash with drink' causing her to fall and break her wrist
Roxanne Bell claims the floor at Potterrow was 'awash with drink' causing her to fall and break her wrist
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A FORMER student is suing a students’ association for £75,000 after claiming she slipped on a floor “awash” with spilt drinks during an end-of-term party.

Roxanne Bell suffered a broken wrist in the fall at Edinburgh University’s Potterrow building, and believes bosses at the student union were at fault for the accident.

The 22-year-old launched the legal action for damages against the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (Eusa) alleging it was negligent for failing to clean up spillages. Ms Bell, who now works as an assistant with a publicity company, was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary following the accident, which happened at around 2am.

Lawyers for Eusa contend that Ms Bell had a “duty to exercise reasonable care for her own safety” during the party and should have “watched where she was placing her feet”.

They also said that Eusa had a system in place to collect empty glasses, and mop up spillages during the event.

Lawyers for Ms Bell told the Court of Session in Edinburgh that she had gone to Potterow, which is owned and operated by Eusa, for a packed end-of-term party on May 30, 2009.

The court heard that Ms Bell was on the top floor of the building, where there was a bar and dance floor area on the linoleum floor.

The floor was described as being “awash with spilled drinks” and covered with empty bottles and plastic glasses.

Ms Bell said that she had been walking between tables separating the bar from the dance floor when she slipped and fell to the ground.

After getting to her feet, Ms Bell said she found her dress was soaked with drinks from the floor, which she added was sticky due to all the spillages.

Her lawyers said that there was “no evidence” of a system designed to clean up any mess, and the only two Eusa staff members who were working were “concentrating on selling drinks at the bar”.

Following her treatment at the ERI, Ms Bell said it took two to three months before she could resume “normal activities” following the injury, while she still suffers from “discomfort” in her wrist.

At the time of the accident, Ms Bell had been working as a part-time waitress at the Chez Pierre restaurant in the New Town. Ms Bell, whose address is given in court papers as in Bridge of Allan, near Stirling, said that she was unable to work at the eatery for two weeks after the fall.

Lawyers for Eusa said that the student union did have a system in place to deal with spilt drinks, and staff were advised to look out for and clean up any spillages.

Eusa was contacted by the Evening News but did not wish to comment any further.

It told the court that Ms Bell “caused or materially contributed” to her own accident by failing to be careful and look where she was walking.

Ms Bell could not be contacted for comment.

The case is set to be heard again at the Court of Session later this year.