Grafton shopper awarded damages as a result of slipping on a mandarin left on the floor

Published 05 Sep 2018

Our client was a customer attending to a shopping centre in Grafton, being a city in the norther rivers region of the state of new south wales, for the purposes of shopping when he was caused to slip and fall on a piece of mandarin which was left on the floor. It caused him to lose balance and fall heavily to the floor. The owners of the shopping centre had the occupation, care, control and management of the retailed premises where our client was shopping at the time.  As a result of the slip and fall, our client suffered injuries to his neck, lower back, right knee, right hip, right shoulder and right groin.

The occupiers of the shopping centre claimed that the mandarin left on the floor caused our client to slip and fall and suffer injury.  The staff came to our client’s assistance and completed an incident report in relation to the accident. Our client attended to his family doctor after the injury and was initially referred for x-rays and physiotherapy treatment to review his condition medically at the beginning. Over a period of time with our client’s treatment with his family doctor, his ongoing symptoms in relation to his neck, lower back, right knee and right hip continued, and as such the family doctor referred him for further treatment at the local hospital.  This treatment included physiotherapy treatment and pain management treatment over a period of time as well as being referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for specialist review.

A letter of demand was forwarded to the shopping owners and occupiers of the shopping centre advising them of our client’s accident and ongoing nature of his injuries and disabilities which were adversely affecting his ability to lead a normal life. The shopping centre advised that it did not employ cleaners during business trading hours and therefore they had no cleaning inspection documentation at that store.  We were provided with an incident report in relation to our client’s accident which confirmed his version of events in relation to the accident.

We provided the public liability insurer with particulars of our client’s claim.  Liability was denied in the matter. We launched legal proceedings in negligence against the shopping centre with respect to our client’s injuries, losses and damages. We obtained medical reports from our client’s treating doctors and specialists and we had him independently medically examined and assessed.  All of these reports were provided to the public liability insurer for the shopping centre. The public liability insurer for the shopping centre also arranged for our client to be independently medically examined and assessed and their orthopaedic surgeon confirmed the nature and extent of our client’s injuries, losses and damages.

The legal representatives for the shopping centre filed a defence admitting that they were the occupier of the premises where our client slipped and fell and was injured but denied all allegations of negligence against their client and pleaded particulars of contributory negligence on the part of our client stating that he failed to keep a proper lookout at the time.  This was denied by our client and that he states that he took all reasonable precautions in the circumstances whilst he was shopping at the shopping centre when he slipped and fell and was injured.  After we served our liability and medical expert evidence upon the other side and that they had arranged for him to be medically examined and assessed, they invited us to participate in an informal settlement conference for the purposes of reviewing the liability and medical issues in the matter and to explore settlement options between the parties.  The insurer wished to proceed down that path before the matter proceeded to a full court hearing of the matter.

After an informal settlement conference between the parties which spanned over a number of days, the parties were able to resolve the matter in its entirety and the shopping centre was ordered to pay our client a substantial award in damages in compensation for his injuries, losses and damages as a result of slipping and falling on a piece of mandarin which was left on the floor at the time of the accident. Our client was very happy with the outcome of the matter and that he was vindicated in relation to his injuries and the negligence of the shopping centre in causing the accident.

If you are a customer attending a shopping centre for the purposes of shopping and you suffer an injury as a result of the negligence of the shopping centre or another party, you may be able to pursue a claim in damages for compensation in negligence as a result of your injuries suffered due to the negligence of the shopping centre.

In this case our client suffered serious injuries as a result of slipping and falling on a piece of mandarin left on the floor, due to the negligence of the shopping centre and not having a reasonable cleaning system in place at the time. The liability and medical evidence established negligence against the shopping centre and also substantiated the full extent of his injuries and continuing disabilities and symptoms arising from the accident. It was that evidence which resulted in the shopping centre being ordered to pay our client a substantial award in damages in compensation for his injuries suffered in the accident due to the negligence of the shopping centre.

For a free no obligation consultation, please contact our toll free number on 1800 004 878 so an appointment can be arranged for you to attend our office to protect your legal rights in the matter.