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A Local Pub Was Ordered to Pay $180,000 in Damages to a Patron in a Public Liability Claim

Case Overview
  • Our client was a patron of the pub who slipped on the bathroom floor and suffered serious injuries. 
  • He was taken to the hospital where he required surgery on his left leg fractures.
  • We commenced legal proceedings in court against the pub in relation to our client’s injuries and damages due to their negligence.

Our client was a patron at a local pub an inner-city suburb of Sydney region south of the Sydney central business district. The local pub operated as a commercial venue supplying food, alcohol beverages, accommodation and a function area. Our client attended the premises with several friends for socializing purposes and whilst he was there, he walked into the male bathroom of the premises and slipped and fell on the wet and slippery floor and suffered serious injuries.

As a result of the fall, our client fractured his left ankle, fractured his left knee, suffered a left hip injury, neck injury, left shoulder injury and lower back injury. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he required surgery to his left leg fractures. Our client’s injury was reported to management at the time. The floor installed in the toilet area was a smooth ceramic tile.  As our client entered the male bathroom and stepped towards the urinal he slipped on a wet and slippery floor.

“The pub filed a defence denying all liability in relation to the claim. They did not serve a liability expert report in reply. They stated that they had a system in place with respect to inspection and cleaning by its employees, but they provided no inspection logs or cleaning records to verify these matters.”

Nassir Bechara
Our Approach

We commenced legal proceedings in court against the pub in relation to our client’s injuries, losses and damages due to their negligence.

We commissioned a liability expert report from a safety expert who viewed the area with the client and he provided us with an expert report stating that the pub did not carry out a risk assessment of the floor area prior to allowing and/or permitting patrons to use the toilet area and to ensure that the floor was free of any casual water. He also advised that the pub had an obligation to ensure the floor area was free of any known hazards, which would be known given it is a public toilet within the public hotel. 

After our client’s medical treatment had been completed, we arranged for him to be independently medically examined and assessed. The specialist determined that our client was suffering from from 18% permanent impairment of the neck, 30% permanent impairment of the lower back, 10% loss of use of the left arm, 25% loss of use of the left leg, severe bodily disfigurement from scarring due to the surgery and that his ability to lead a normal life has been significantly impaired by the injury sustained in the fall.

The liability expert determined that there were reasonable preventative measures and actions that were available to the pub and that by the implementation of those measures our client’s exposure to the risk of injury could have been very much reduced if not entirely obviated. The proceedings were listed for hearing to determine the liability and medical issues.

The Result

At the completion of the hearing, the court ordered that the pub pay to our client $180,000 in damages by way of compensation for his injuries sustained in the accident.

Nassir Bechara

Special Counsel
I strongly recommend Gerard Malouf & Partners for their dedicated client service and expertise. Nassir Bechara particularly supported my claim process with sound advice and compassion. In such a challenging legal process I entrusted him with looking after my best interests and he and his team exceeded well beyond my expectations. Nassir did more than follow a process.
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 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 have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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