$55,000 Settlement for Fall Down Stairs due to Broken Step

Published 15 Mar 2013

Our 67-year old client had a fall down stairs in a small retail complex when she slipped on a broken step.

The stairs were partly within the store where she had just made a purchase, and partly outside the store. This meant we had to sue the shop, the managing agent for the building and the owner of the building.             

Medical issues

Our client sustained a compression fracture in her back, a fracture of her coccyx, fractures to her ribs and aggravated an old injury to her knee.

Our client had a long history of osteoarthritis and had made many complaints about severe back pain to her GP before her injury but did not make any complaints to her GP about her back after the injury. Her ribs healed fairly quickly following the fall down the stairs and she had no further problems with her ribs.

Court proceedings

We commenced Court proceedings against the shop, the managing agent and the owner of the building and claimed negligence for failing to repair the stairs, failing to warn our client of the condition of the steps and failing to inspect the stairs for defects.

All Defendants denied negligence and claimed our client should have watched where she was looking.

Settlement

We convinced the Defendants to hold an informal settlement conference to attempt to settle our client’s claim. Unfortunately, the Defendants did not come to the party on the day, but shortly afterwards made an offer to settle our client’s claim for $55,000, which she was very happy to accept.