On 11 December, 2017 a man slipped on a polished, marble walkway in a NSW casino. The fall, which caused soft tissue injuries to his back, was captured by a closed circuit TV camera. Surveillance footage shows the man had slipped on a puddle of liquid (likely water). Testimony from both the man and the casino agreed the fall had involved a puddle of liquid. Hearings for the lawsuit began in late September, 2019.
The plaintiff claimed the defendant (the casino) had been negligent, failing to maintain proper safety precautions for its patrons. In response to his allegations, the defendant attacked the man’s credibility, suggesting that in his 30 year history as a patron at the casino he had gambled with undeclared income. The court disputed the relevancy of this claim and, as no evidence supported it, they accepted the plaintiff as reliable and credible.
As a result of the fall, the plaintiff suffers continual pain in his lower back and cannot do anything close to heavy labor without great pain. Upon examination of several somewhat conflicting medical examinations, the court accepted the general consensus that the plaintiff could not continue to work full time in his self-employed contractor/supervisor position. One doctor dissented from the others, believing the plaintiff’s condition would not become any worse. The court, however, rejected this claim because it was not supported by evidence.
The injuries forced the plaintiff to take time off of work for 5 months following the fall and then again from June 2017 to December 2018. In February 2019, he registered for an allowance through Newstart and from that time applied, unsuccessfully, for 27 jobs. These facts showed the plaintiff’s activities following the incident had not caused any further damage to his back and therefore, he was not responsible for contributory negligence. Furthermore, his prior earnings and continued effort to find work proved that, if not for his fall, he would have continued working full time from the time of the injury and the time of the trial.
The court’s decision
On 25 October, 2019 the court found the casino had been negligent and awarded the plaintiff $150,144.15 in damages including:
If you have suffered a slip and fall or an injury of any kind and feel you may have a public liability case, get in touch with the experts at GMP and we may be able to help you win compensation for your suffering.