When a person walks around a supermarket, a retail store or over a pedestrian crossing, are they expected to ensure their own safety by avoiding all painted signs? A public liability injury claim in-front of the District Court of New South Wales has provided a pragmatic answer.
The case also highlights the need to ensure you have an experienced lawyer in your counsel. Through their expertise, they can help you navigate the court system and ensure you receive a satisfactory settlement.
Wet paint leads to slip and fall claim
In 2011, a man slipped and fell as a result of walking over a painted surface in a Bankstown car park. The plaintiff argued that the owners of the car park owed him a duty of care that was not upheld.
The defendant was a large supermarket chain and they denied any breach of their duty of care to the plaintiff.
At the time of the incident, the painted surface was slippery because it had been raining. When the plaintiff walked across the surface of the sign, his right foot slipped from under him and he fell to the ground with his left foot caught under his body.
As a result of the injury the plaintiff was in a cast for eight weeks and was unable to do his duties at work and in 2014, he took a redundancy due to the pain these activities caused him.
Differing views and the value of a lawyer
One crucial part of the case was the differing perceptions of what caused the slip. The manager believed that the plaintiff had slipped on the tiles, however, the representatives of the plaintiff argued that it was the sign, not the tile, that caused the slip and thus the injury.
As a result of the legal counsel's efforts, the plaintiff was awarded close to $400,000 in damages. The majority of these stem from non-economic loss and future economic loss. The judge emphasised that the public is not responsible for avoiding painted signs, instead it is up to the business owners to ensure they afford the public their duty of care.
The case is an important reminder to seek the expertise of an experienced lawyer, who can help ensure your story and your interests are championed. At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we offer a no win no fee guarantee that can ensure upfront costs do not dissuade you from making a claim.
Talk to a representative at Gerard Malouf and Partners today.