Selfridges pays £12,000 to cyclist struck by carpark barrier

Selfridges pays lingerie boss £12,000 after she was struck by a descending barrier while cycling out of a car park leaving her with a scar on her nose

  • Sonia Spasiano, 37, claimed there were not enough warning signs for cyclists 

Selfridge’s must pay more than £12,000 to a former lingerie boss after she was struck on the head by a carpark barrier while attempting to leave the luxury store on her bicycle.   

Sonia Spasiano, 37, was first hit on her helmet by the barrier in June 2020, before it scraped her nose, leaving a scar, a court was told. 

The then-manager of La Perla, based inside the building on London’s West End, claimed compensation for injuries and minor scarring from Selfridge’s Retail Ltd, alleging negligence in failing to warn cyclists about the hazards of going through the barrier.

And after a short hearing at Central London County Court, Deputy District Judge Tear ruled the department store should have had clearer warnings whilst holding Ms Spasiano herself partly at fault. 

The shop, established by Harry Selfridge 113 years ago, is a landmark on Oxford Street and even became the centrepiece for an ITV drama about the maverick businessman – ‘Mr Selfridge’. 

Sonia Spasiano (pictured outside court), 37, was struck in the face as she left the iconic store on London’s West End in June 2020

Ms Spasiano, who was then working as a manager for the La Perla fashion franchise within the building, was struck on the helmet by the barrier, which went on to hit her in the nose, leaving a scar (Pictured: Selfridge’s car park) 

READ MORE: Male nanny who was sacked after demanding his millionaire employer pay for surgery when he tore a wrist ligament while chopping lobster in her £6.5m mansion loses tribunal fight 


The judge handed her £3,060 in compensation after reducing the award by one third to take account of the cyclist’s ‘contributory negligence’.

He also ordered Selfridge’s to shell out £8,976 to cover the legal costs of the case.

He said Selfridge’s failed to give enough thought to how cyclists should leave or enter the car park, although ‘dynamic risk assessments’ had been carried out.

‘It’s clear that there was no proper thought process as to how cyclists should enter or egress from the site,’ he said.

‘I am satisfied that Selfridge’s does bear responsibility for part of this accident but that doesn’t negate how this accident happened.

‘Ms Spasiano must bear some responsibility herself for going under a barrier that was open which then closed and so caused her injury,’ he added.

The court heard that Ms Spasiano was caught by the barrier while following another vehicle out of the car park when leaving work, which she did because the exiting car would trigger the barrier.

‘She said that she normally followed the car one bicycle length behind, and would then follow it thorough the barrier,’ explained Judge Tear.

Selfridge’s (pictured), established by Harry Selfridge 113 years ago, is a landmark on Oxford Street and even became the centrepiece for an ITV drama about the maverick businessman – ‘Mr Selfridge’

But on the day of the accident the barrier came down at speed as she approached, catching her on the head.

‘The barrier struck towards her helmet and then moved down hitting the bridge of her nose causing injury to her face,’ said the judge.

Ms Spasiano has since stopped working at the Selfridge’s La Perla and is now a store manager for Tod’s.

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