In the recent case Simon Felice v St George Masonic Club, the judge ruled in favour of the plaintiff, requesting the defendant pay the medical and economic loss costs (upwards of $177,000) incurred as a result of the injury.
Details of the case
Plaintiff Simon Felice (aged 40) was walking down a tiled ramp from the Masonic Club on a rainy night when he slipped and fell, resulting in severe injury to his left knee. The court ruled that the ramp was dangerously slippery, both because of the angle and surface of the tiles and because of the lack of a rain or wind barrier on the side.
Felice underwent surgery and 16 weeks of recovery, during which he was not able to work. The injury ultimately prevented him from returning to his job as a security guard, a fact that the judge also took into consideration.
With regards to liability, the court found the defendant liable for the damages caused by the slippery tiles, which the defendant did not dispute. Though there was a sign warning that the tiles were slippery when wet, the judge found the presence of such a sign irrelevant, as the defendant did nothing to prevent the tiles from becoming slippery.
Details of the damages
Where the real controversy in this case lay was with regards to the extent of medical and economic losses. Both parties agreed on an out-of-pocket sum of nearly $12,500 to cover medical expenses. The defendant also agreed that the assessment of the plaintiff's past and future economic losses be made on the basis that the plaintiff was earning approximately $1,000 per week before the accident.
However, the plaintiff's entitlement to compensation for both past and future economic losses was hotly contested. This was primarily because of the plaintiff's sporadic work history – the defendant claimed that the plaintiff's injuries were not definitively the cause for his termination of employment. The judge, however, ruled that they were, leading the case to fall in favour of the plaintiff.
Public liability cases such as these can be difficult to win, but with the proper representation you can make the best case possible. If you've been injured as a result of a business' negligence, please contact an experienced public liability lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to pursue a claim.