Public Liability - hit by postal trolley

Published 31 Aug 2010

The Plaintiff is this matter is an 81 year old man who attended the Stanhope Gardens Shopping Centre on 18 March, 2009. Upon exiting a corridor and entering the main common area, the Plaintiff was struck to the ground by an Australia Post trolley laden with goods which was being pushed by an Australia Post employee.

He was conveyed to Hospital by ambulance and spent considerable time at Blacktown, Penrith and Mt Druitt Hospitals.

As a result of the subject accident, the Plaintiff sustained a fracture to the hip, an injury to the right leg, a lower back injury and shock. Also as a result of the subject accident, the Plaintiff incurred out of pocket expenses (and these will continue into the future) and he also required domestic care and assistance over and above any assistance previously provided.

Being a public liability matter, the case would be subject to the provisions of the Civil Liability Act (NSW) 2002. Instructions were obtained on or about 7 April, 2009 and a Statement of Claim was filed with the Parramatta District Court in or about late May, 2009.

General, or pain and suffering damages were claimed as were past (which included Hospital Accounts totaling approximately $60,000.00) and future out of pocket expenses and past and future care provided and to be provided by family members. Given the Plaintiff’s age, there was of course no claim for past and future economic loss.

In order to prove our case on liability, a copy of the CCTV footage was requested from the Shopping Centre early on in the proceedings. The CCTV footage was clear and the Plaintiff’s instructions were confirmed on film.

We then arranged for the Plaintiff to be assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon as well as an Occupational Therapist to assist in assessing the quantum of the claim.

Once all the reports and clinical records were obtained, a Summary of Damages was prepared and the Defendant’s solicitors were invited to an Informal Settlement Conference. Prior to such Conference taking place, negotiations commenced between the parties. Negotiations were subsequently called to an end and the Informal cancelled when it became obvious that the Defendant was not inclined to contribute anywhere near the amount of damages the matter was worth.

Accordingly, the matter proceeded to Hearing and was heard by His Honour Judge Delaney in the Parramatta District Court on 12 August, 2010. His Honour delivered Judgment on 31 August, 2010. His Honour entered verdict and Judgment in favour of the Plaintiff for $196,748.25 plus costs.

Gerard Malouf, Vrege Kolokossian and Juliana Nikolovski worked hard as a team and fought aggressively to ensure the Plaintiff was adequately compensated for the damages and losses caused by the Defendant.

Overall, in this case the matter was completed in little over a year.