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A Man Gets $275K In Compensation After Collapsing At A Local Club

Case Overview
  • Our client was a full-time manual labour and was spending his afternoon playing pokies at his local club.
  • His stool collapsed and he fell to the ground where he sustained injuries to his right shoulder.
  • The Public Liability Team at Gerard Malouf and Partners helped him secure a settlement of $275,000. 

On Anzac Day 2018, our client, in his late 50s had finished lunch and was spending his afternoon playing pokies at his local club, when his stool collapsed and he fell to the ground, causing significant injuries to his right shoulder. The seat of the stool had completely separated from the base of the pole.

“Our team commenced performing investigations in relation to the claim, as our client continued to receive ongoing shoulder treatment.”

Sung-Gu Lee
Our Approach

Our client was eventually able to return to his work, due to his great work ethic, and had various periods of time off work, throughout the duration of the litigation, as he obtained and followed medical advice. Even though our client’s employer accommodated for our client’s restrictions, our client and his family were concerned about his future employment and questions surrounding an early retirement.

Despite the challenge of proving who was at fault for the faulty welding of the stool, the Public Liability Team at Gerard Malouf and Partners fought hard for our client, critically analysing the CCTV footage of the incident, available photographs and material from the defendant. 

The Result

Once we had obtained all the relevant evidence, this enabled us to successfully negotiate with the Defendant, obtaining an optimal settlement for our client to secure his future retirement, as the settlement outcome was completely tax free.

Sung Gu Lee Photo

Sung-Gu Lee

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

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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