Car park slip results in successful public liability claim

Date: Dec 03, 2015

It's important that people are able to go about their daily lives safely. Whether people are going to work or walking through a shopping centre, any unnecessary dangers or hazards can result in undue risk and preventable incidents. 

A recent case involving a Western Sydney supermarket revealed what can happen when a property isn't safe for people. In this case, the incident resulted in a successful public liability injury claim which saw a man awarded $400,000 in damages. 

What went wrong?

Under Australian law, businesses are obligated to create and maintain properties, goods and services that are safe to the public and their customers. If a person is hurt due to the actions or negligence of an organisation, they're able to launch a public liability claim. 

This recent example concerned a Sydney man who was injured crossing a shopping centre car park. The man slipped and fell on a disabled parking sign painted on the ground. Because it had been raining, the surface was slipperier than normal, which caught him unaware. 

The incident resulted in a broken ankle for the victim. According to a report from The Daily Telegraph, the injury was so severe it caused the joint to become deformed, requiring extra surgery and inhibiting his ability to move around comfortably. 

The judge found both the supermarket and the company responsible for painting the sign to be equally liable for the man's injury and subsequent disability. 

What was the result?

It was deemed that the paint used to produce the disabled parking sign was of poor quality, causing it to become much slipperier than normal in the inclement weather. The supermarket's defence suggested the man should have known to avoid these surfaces in the wet. According to The Daily Telegraph, The Judge said this was not an adequate response or an appropriate solution for the future.

"A pedestrian, be it on a road or in a car park, should not be expected when it is raining, to avoid painted areas on the road surface," The Judge stated. 

"To do so would create an absurd, if not comical, picture of pedestrians hopping over and around road markings when it was raining."

Slip and fall injury claims can ensure people are adequately compensated after suffering an injury. In this case, the claimant was awarded almost half a million dollars due to the extent of his injuries. 

The lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners operate on a no win no fee basis. Contact our friendly team to find out if your case is worth pursuing. 

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.