Change location v

A Cafe Was Ordered to Pay a Child $130,000 in Damages for Negligence

Case Overview
  • A child tripped at a café in Western Sydney and injured his face. 
  • The defendant café failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent harm from occurring.
  • The court ordered that the café pay the child $130,000 in damages as compensation for the child’s injuries caused by their negligence.

A mother took her child to a birthday at a Western Sydney café. The café also provides play areas for children. The play area had mats/carpet on the floor which were not secured, where children would be obviously playing, running and walking. The child tripped on a section of the floor mat/carpet which was crumpled and raised. The trip caused the child to lose his balance and fall forward under the timber edge sandpit with his face landing on the unyielding surface of the timber edge.

The young child’s face struck the frame causing a large laceration to his lower lip and mouth and the injury being accompanied by profuse bleeding. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he underwent treatment and surgery on his face and lip regions. He was also referred to a pediatric dentist who noted that there were fractures of the teeth and he underwent dental treatment and surgery to the damage of the teeth. He was also referred to a plastic surgeon and he was admitted into hospital and underwent revision surgery to his lip. He was left with permanent scarring of the lower lip. 

The insurer for the café denied liability in relation to the claim. The trip caused the child to lose his balance and fall forward onto the timber edge sandpit causing him to suffer facial injuries. The defendant café failed to take reasonable care to prevent the harm from materialising.

The defendant café also failed to comply with the provisions of the work health and safety act 2011 and failed to identify, assess and review reasonably foreseeable hazards causing a risk of injury to our client. Furthermore, the child’s injuries were occasioned by reason of the breaches of the defendant café and its obligations to our client under the provisions of the competition and consumer act 2010, scheduled to Australian consumer Law in that there was an implied undertaking that the café was reasonably fit for the purposes of providing services with due skill and care.

“We filed court proceedings with respect to the child’s serious injuries due to their negligence. A liability expert report determined that the child tripped on a section of the floor mat/carpet which was crumpled and raised.”

Our Approach

We arranged for the child to be medically examined and assessed by doctors and specialists. They determined that he was left with permanent impairment as a result of the scarring and damage to his front teeth. The child suffered significantly as a result of his injuries and surgery. The proceedings were listed for hearing to determine the liability and medical issues in the claim. 

 The café was found to be negligent in causing their child’s injuries and was thereby ordered to pay substantial damages accordingly.

The Result

At the completion of the hearing, the court ordered that the café pay the child a sum of $130,000 in damages by way of compensation for the child’s injuries, losses and damages sustained.

Nassir Bechara Lawyer

Nassir Bechara

Senior Associate
It means a lot to me to defend clients who have been significantly disabled by injuries which have been caused by the negligence of others and to be able to help them receive fair and proper compensation which in most cases will assist in changing their lives
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 centre on the issue of negligence. Put simply, an individual or organisation is usually deemed negligent if they owed you a duty of care and they breach this obligation by failing to protect you from harm.

However, establishing negligence isn’t enough to receive compensation. You must also make a direct correlation between the defendant’s negligence and your injuries. This link is called ‘factual causation’ and the general principles are outlined in the Civil Liability Act 2002.


More Case Summaries

© 2021 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

Website Design by MediaSmiths

Your location is currently: