$200,000+ Compensation for Injury at Supermarket due to Faulty Fridge

Published 05 Nov 2012

Our client decided to do some last minute shopping before the Christmas vacation period. She had gone into her local supermarket for the purpose of doing some shopping and on her way out saw a display of other Christmas items and proceeded to make her way to them. As she walked past a cold drink vending machine, she slipped and fell heavily to the ground. She sustained a significant injury to the back. At the time she was embarrassed, reported it to the staff but decided to go home. She then returned to report it and an incident report form was completed.

Over the next couple of weeks our client thought that her symptoms would resolve and that she just sustained some bruising. She saw her GP who referred her to have x-rays, which showed significant damage to her lower back. Our client was working at the time as a process worker and was undertaking some training in other areas. As a result of her injuries and the fact that she was not recovering she decided to attend upon Gerard Malouf & Partners at our North Parramatta Office.   

Vrege (Reg) Kolokossian of the firm initially assessed the situation of liability that is whether we would be able to prove that the supermarket was at fault. It appeared on the facts that the vending machine had broken down and had been dripping some water. This was known to the supermarket and they failed to cordon off the area, place any matting to absorb the water or place warning signs. Vrege, formed the view that we would be able to prove that the supermarket would be at fault. We then obtained particulars and details of her injury. We qualified our own specialist doctors at no cost to our client for the purpose of obtaining reports. Armed with reports from our specialist which included an orthopaedic surgeon and an occupational physician, we conveyed offers to Lawyers engaged by the supermarket. At the same time to minimise the delay commenced Court proceedings. 

The purpose of obtaining an occupational physician was to substantiate the fact that the injuries sustained would also impact on any sedentary type duties that she was going to do especially those duties requiring her to sit for any lengthy period of time or stand. Our client had also tried to start up her own business but her capacity to earn money was affected by her own inability to work for a full 8 hours without having to take regular breaks. We obtained our own economic loss forensic accountant to show the exact loss that our client was going to sustain. As a result of her injuries our client was only able to work a couple of hours at a time, needed regular breaks and needed regular physiotherapy treatment to provide her with temporary relief.

Vrege (Reg) Kolokossian was able to successfully commence proceedings against the defendant supermarket and minimise costs to all parties by agreeing to participate in a mediation conference. All parties took a common sense approach to a resolution of the matter which resulted in a win/win situation both for the supermarket and our client. A significant amount of damages was paid by way of compensation. We were also able to avoid significant costs by unnecessarily proceeding to Court hearing. Our client, a young woman in her mid 30’s, was very happy with the result obtained for her. 

In all matters where people sustain an injury it is important to immediately notify the owners or managers of the place where the injury occurs. It is also important to ensure that you attend upon your family doctor and confirm with the doctor the facts as to what had happened and when you sustained the injury. It is also important if you are able to (via your phone) take photographs of the area where the slip occurred.

Once the above steps have occurred the next and most important thing is to contact Gerard Malouf & Partners and speak to our expert team of solicitors who all specialise in personal injury compensation matters. We will act to maximise your claim and do so in accordance with our “no win/no fee” policy.

For the convenience of our clients we have offices throughout Sydney and regional New South Wales and up and down the East Coast of Australia. It is important to contact us at the earliest opportune time as significant time limitation periods apply in relation to all personal injury claims.