Cleaner awarded over $120,000 following fall

Date: Apr 29, 2016

A case in front of the District Court of New South Wales exemplifies how an individual can secure a successful settlement following a slip and fall claim. The court awarded the plaintiff close to $124,000 in relation to non-economic loss, past wage loss and the cost of future treatments. 

People who have hurt themselves in public spaces can claim against a number of different categories, such as medical costs and economic losses, including superannuation.

The case revolved around a cleaner who injured herself following a slip at the school he was working at. The plaintiff was called to cover another employee who could not make it due to torrential rain. After travelling from the permanently mounted schools to the pre-fabricated classrooms, he walked up the steps and realised he was not meant to clean this area. As he turned to retrace his steps, the plaintiff slipped, fell down the stairs and landed heavily on his right hip. 

The plaintiff argued that when wet, they becoming slippery, which was compounded by their poor condition and lack of non-slip paint. 

Failure to maintain condition of the steps

One of the main points that the plaintiff based his case on was that the steps had been initially painted in a non-slip material in 2004 and 2008. The plaintiff claims that due to wear and tear, the material had worn out in the centre of the landing and, as such, the steps were hazardous.

To ensure a fair and honest response, the Court sought  expert advice from an occupational health, safety and risk management expert. He supported the plaintiff's claim of negligence against the defendant by outlining nine factors that contributed to the plaintiff's injury. These included a failure of the defendant to:

  • take due and proper care;
  • ensure the steps were maintained and safe;
  • have a proper systems of inspection; and
  • implement and develop safety audits.

As a result of the fall, the plaintiff was unable to complete his duties even though he attempted to return to work. When he was referred to the specialist, the doctor recommended a full hip replacement, but the plaintiff was unable to afford it. 

He was also forced to use a walking stick when travelling any length of distance and had to use endone and morphine patches for the pain.

If you would like to know more about making a public liability claim, it is essential to talk an accident compensation lawyer today. At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we offer a no win no fee guarantee that can ensure upfront costs are not an obstacle. 

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