A Tesco delivery driver is taking legal action against an online delivery customer after sustaining injuries while on their premises.
Andrew Britton is suing estate agency manager Paul Singleton after he went over on his ankle while carrying groceries down Singleton’s sloping driveway near Selby, Yorkshire.
Although the incident took place in April, it is only recently that Singleton received a letter from Britton’s solicitor demanding unspecified compensation. He contacted Tesco’s legal department, but said they said they couldn’t help.
“I won’t be shopping with them again,” he said.
Tesco said it did not support the claim, and didn’t think it was appropriate for a customer to be sued by one of its employees. “We are contacting Mr Singleton to reassure him of our intention to resolve the issue without inconveniencing him further.”
But barrister Peter Linstead, head of employment law at Tanfield, said there is nothing to stop the driver suing Singleton under the Occupier’s Liability Act, as long as the injury was caused by Singleton’s failure to ensure that users of his drive are reasonably safe, rather than the driver’s carelessness.
“The fact he was working for Tesco does not alter this as employment law doesn’t allow them to prevent his bringing a genuine negligence claim against a customer,” he said.
“He cannot sue Tesco as they have not been negligent, although they could offer to give him compensation in return for agreeing not to pursue his claim. In future, Tesco could help guard against this by requiring employees to report injuries to them immediately, and to notify Tesco if they are considering bringing a claim.”