In January of 2009, the man was descending a short flight of stairs after having put on ice skating boots, in order to get to the rink to join his family.
On the last step, his foot slipped and he lost his balance. As a result, he fell and landed on his right ankle, fracturing it in the process.
The man was taken to hospital where he stayed for ten days in total. During that time he underwent an operative procedure to affix screws to his ankle and had a plaster cast put on his right leg and ankle, which he then had to wear for three months.
In May 2009, one of the screws was removed and he then began a course of physiotherapy.
The victim suffered ongoing stiffness in his ankle which affected him in his daily life.
He experienced difficulty in lifting, squatting and bending, and in putting a lot of weight on his right ankle.
As a result, he gave up participating in sports and suffered pain on a daily basis, and was only able to return to work in August of 2009.
The man decided to seek damages through the NSW District Court, claiming that his fall and injury came about due to negligence on the part of the owner of the property containing the ice rink.
During his case’s hearing, an expert engineer gave evidence showing that there is an inconsistency in the measurements of the treads and risers on the flight of stairs where the incident took place.
As a result, people descending the stairs aren’t able to assume the size of steps to come based on ones they have already tread on.
This and other facts were taken into consideration by the judge, and they found that the defendant was negligent as alleged.
The victim was awarded $75,000 for non-economic loss, $18,150 for past economic loss, $1,996 for loss of past superannuation benefits, $50,000 for future loss of earning capacity, $2,500 for the likely cost of future treatment, and $697 for past out-of-pocket expenses.
In total, he came away with $148,343.