A pensioner who tried to sue a shop over a falling Fray Bentos pie has finally dropped her bid for compensation. Rita Gibson said her life was ruined when the tinned pie fell on her in the Co-op store in Bedford Street, North Shields, damaging nerve endings in her head.
Since it happened, on May 2, 2002, the 76-year-old widow says she has been in constant pain and finds a simple task such as blow-drying her hair agony. Mrs Gibson was seeking compensation from the Co-op for the accident, which she claims was caused by bad stacking, but at the time the company said they had investigated the allegation and found they were not to blame.
Mrs Gibson, of Turnberry, West Monskeaton, said: “The accident has totally ruined my life. I was a very active person before and now I’m unable to do even the simplest of tasks. I would rather have been knocked out and killed on the spot than have to live the life I do now. I don’t go out of the house any more and I’m really down about it.”
The mother-of-two said the pies were stacked 6ft high, and at 5ft in her flat shoes, she had to stand on tip-toes to reach it. The pie slipped from her out-stretched fingers and landed on her head, bouncing on to her face, smashing her glasses and cutting her cheek.
“I had gone into the store and thought I would buy one of the pies for my dinner but they were stacked really high so I had to reach up to get one,” explained Mrs Gibson. “The next thing I knew one had come smashing down. I had a massive throbbing pain in my head.
“I thought the pain would get better but it’s never gone away. My head is constantly tender. The doctor says the accident has damaged the nerve endings which is why it hurts so much.” The Co-op investigated the accident and said the shelves were stacked correctly and denied they were responsible for what happened.