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Schoolboy dies in horrific accident at Topshop

Author: Rosie Dodds

A Reading school boy was killed in a branch of Topshop while he waited for his mum to pay at the till.

Kaden Reddick, 10 years-old, sustained severe head injuries when a display unit queue barrier fell on top of him. He was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, but his injuries were so severe that medical staff were unable to save his life.

The circumstances surrounding the tragic accident are still being investigated. Topshop immediately recalled the display stands at all their branches as a matter of precaution, including stores in the USA and Canada. Stores remained closed until the barriers had been removed.

The law requires that stores ‘take such care as in all the circumstances is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there’ (Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, s.2). When considering this, the law specifically states that ‘an occupier must be prepared for children to be less careful than adults’.

Kaden had clearly been attending the store as a visitor invited to browse the items for sale in the shop, including those that may have been on the display unit. It will not become clear until details of the investigation surrounding the accident are released as to whether Topshop could have done more to prevent the unit from falling. The police are working with Reading Borough Council, which has responsibility for health and safety issues in the retail outlets in their area, during their investigations.

The coroner adjourned the inquest for three months to allow police to carry out their inquiries. If the outcome of the investigations suggests that Topshop should have taken better care of their visitors, Kaden’s family may be able to bring a compensation claim on behalf of Kaden under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

If you have been affected by an accident in a shop where you feel the occupiers should have taken better care of your safety, please do not hesitate to contact Atherton Godfrey on 01302 320621. Our friendly staff will be happy to talk to you on a no obligation basis regarding your options.



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