Buddha bump: man hit on head by 4.5kg statue loses damages claim

Photo: Depositphotos.com

A 64-year-old man who hurt his head when a Buddha statue weighing 4.5 kilos fell on him has lost his case for compensation against retail chain Action.

In a freak accident at an Action shop in Delft two years ago, the man was crouching down to examine a product on the bottom shelf while a woman reached for the statue of a Buddha on a shelf above him. The 4.5 kilo statue subsequently fell and landed on the man’s head.

While the man lay bleeding on the ground and staff rang 112, the woman left the shop. “My head was bleeding profusely. Police and an ambulance came but no one stopped the woman and no one asked for her contact information,” he told the AD.

The man holds Action responsible for what the judge in his ruling called “an unfortunate turn of events”.

He did not endorse the man’s accusation that Action ‘enabled a dangerous situation” by putting a heavy statue on the top shelf which, if picked up, could slip from a customer’s fingers and cause damage. The shelf was only 1.40 metres high and the things on it could be picked up easily from a standing position, the judge said.

The man also claimed to have suffered lasting physical damage. “I still have headaches, he said.

The court also exonerated Action staff from a lack of a duty of care by letting the woman go when she might have been liable for a claim for compensation.

In a reaction, an Action spokesman said a similar accident is “very unlikely and no comparable incidents have ever been reported”. Action staff do not have the authority to detain customers, he added.

The man is appealing against the verdict.

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