Central Coast woman receives over $175,000 after slipping on beanbag balls in popular department store

Published 12 Apr 2017

On 18 December 2014 the plaintiff attended a popular department store for the purpose of undertaking some shopping. While browsing the outdoor living area the plaintiff exited a display gazebo to return to the normal thoroughfare.  As the plaintiff stepped onto the thoroughfare she slipped on some white foam beanbag balls which had been scattered all over the white walk way.

As a result the plaintiff has slipped over causing serious injury to her lumbar spine right leg and toes as well as aggravating pre-existing injuries to L4/L5 and L5/S1. The plaintiff had to leave the department store with the aid of a wheelchair to which she remains confined to.

Prior to the accident plaintiff was a fit and active woman. While she had pre-existing injuries to her lower back was able to walk dogs twice per day, engaged in bicycle rides and generally interacted with her local community.   As a result of the accident the plaintiff was effectively confined to her wheelchair being unable to walk distances of more than 20 meters without significant pain, discomfort and distress.

The plaintiff attended Gerard Malouf and Partners and spoke with Reg in the latter part of 2015.  After obtaining the plaintiff’s clinical records and considering the information contained within Reg felt confidence in his ability to succeed in this matter.

Reg wasted no time in booking the plaintiff into seeing an orthopaedic surgeon as well as a psychologist so that these medical experts with could provide opinions on the extents of the plaintiff’s injuries as well as the effect that the pre-existing injuries had on the plaintiff.

At the time the accident the plaintiff was not working and had no prospects of returning to work in the near future. This meant that the plaintiff’s claim was effectively confined to her noneconomic loss (pain and suffering), treatment expenses and domestic care.

The domestic care claim made up the largest proportion of the plaintiff’s claim. Prior to the accident the plaintiff was capable of looking after herself and her family. She was a fit and active person and tackled all aspects of the household tasks including gardening and property maintenance.

 As a result of the accident the plaintiff was rendered incapable of completing the domestic chores she once did. Reg instructed an occupational therapists to assess the capabilities and abilities of the plaintiff to engage in housework. The expert acknowledged that the plaintiff required at least 25 hours of care per week as a result of the accident and that this would continue into the future.

Armed with this information Reg approached the defendant solicitors to engage in a informal settlement conference.  Ultimately the matter settled for over $175,000 leaving the client very pleased knowing that her needs would be looked out for into the future.