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74-year-old client injured in a train incident reaches favourable settlement without need of a full court hearing

Case Overview
  • Our 74-year-old client was injured in a train incident where the train failed to stop as intended and collided with the buffer stop at the end of the platform.
  • Due to our extensive investigations, the Defendant admitted in it’s Defence that it had breached its duty of care owed to our client.
  • As a result, we were able to achieve a favourable outcome for our client to compensate him for his pain and suffering and his out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the incident.

In January 2018, our client was a passenger involved in a train accident. The train failed to stop as intended and collided with the buffer stop at the end of the platform resulting in our client being thrown forward and hit his knees on the barricade in front of him.

As a result of the incident, our client sustained post-traumatic chondromalacia of the patella caused by the direct blow to the front of both knees that occurred in the train accident. Our client also suffered from psychological symptoms including anxiety in respect of travelling on trains.

Our Approach

The Plaintiff contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners to enquire about making a claim for compensation for public liability. We immediately got to work in collating our client’s medical records and seeking information from the Defendant in relation to the incident. It was clear from the evidence gathered that the transport company had breached its duty of care as the driver did not slow the train at a crucial time when approaching the buffer stop at the end of the platform. This was clearly a negligent act giving rise to a compensable claim.

As a result of our in-depth investigations, we were able to avoid the expense of obtaining an expert report. We commenced proceedings in the District Court of NSW and the Defendant filed its Defence in response to the Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim, admitting that it owed the Plaintiff a duty of care and had breached its duty of care in the circumstances.

Prior to the incident, our client was a 74-year-old man who was retired but enjoyed several recreational activities and did not have any significant pre-existing health issues. We had our client assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon and a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist provided a favourable report and diagnosed our client as suffering from a Chronic Adjustment Disorder with Anxious Mood (DSM 5 Diagnostic Criteria).

All evidence was collated and served on the Defendant and an informal settlement conference was conducted. During negotiations, we were able to achieve a favourable settlement for our client without the need of going through with a full-court hearing.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners we pride ourselves on our ability to bring positive results for our clients. If you have been a victim of a public liability accident contact us today to be certain that you are receiving the maximum compensation that you deserve.

The Result

We were able to achieve a favourable outcome for our client to compensate him for his pain and suffering and his out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the incident.

Pauline Yacoub Lawyer

Pauline Yacoub

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. – Proverbs 31:8,9.
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

When making a claim under the Act you become known as the ‘claimant’, and the person you are acting against becomes known as the ‘respondent.’ Before commencing proceedings against the respondent, the claimant must give written notice of the claim, which must contain the following:

  • A statement of the information surrounding the claim;
  • Authority for the respondent and the respondent’s insurer to have access to your records, being medical records etc; and
  • Documents as required by the legislation.


Public liability refers to the responsibilities owners or occupants of a public space have to protect anyone who enters. If the owners or occupants fall short of these responsibilities, resulting in an injury, a case for compensation can be made.

Some of the most common incidents covered by public liability law include:

  • The food or drink from a restaurant makes you sick: The most common example of this type of public liability is food poisoning, however improperly disclosed allergens could also lead to litigation.
  • A slip and fall accident caused by negligence: Slip and fall incidents are especially common in busy public places such as playgrounds, schools, shopping centres, common walkways in buildings and outdoor event venues. They can result from negligent behaviour if poorly lit, uneven, unmarked or slippery surfaces are involved, amongst other reasons.
  • Injury caused by poor workmanship: If a product used by a space fails mechanically and causes an injury, a public liability claim can often be made. Examples include exploding gas bottles, poorly constructed furnishings and inadequate building structures. These cases may also be eligible for product liability litigation, if you decide to pursue both the property owner and the product manufacturer.
  • An attack by an animal while in a space: If the owners or occupants of a space fail to keep an animal, whether domestic or wild, contained as a result of negligence, you may have a potential case.


Following an initial meeting, the first task will be to establish the general facts of the case. This will include your medical diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed and documented by a doctor; and proof that the person or company at fault owed you a duty of care, which will need to be demonstrated. Together, this will show that your injury occurred when they breached that duty of care.

From there a further investigation will proceed—contacting and interviewing witnesses, speaking with expert consultants, and more—all in order to bolster the strength of your case even further. Only once this process is complete, and your claim can be demonstrated and proven in full, will the process move on to the next step.

Public liability claims enable you to recoup the financial and emotional costs of suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence. Defendants regularly offer monetary settlements to claimants, particularly if they acknowledge liability and believe they would lose in court.

But should you accept the settlement or proceed to the later stages of litigation instead, where a judge will have the final decision? Every case is different, but here are some of the factors you may wish to consider before making your choice:

  1. The size of the settlement
  2. The strength of your case
  3. Your patience levels
  4. Your lawyer’s advice



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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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