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Man Receives a $41,000 Settlement After Being Injured on Broken Stair Nosing

Case Overview
  • The shopping centre had failed to maintain the entry and exit and had no warning signs of damage.
  • Our client tripped on a broken stair nosing, leads to a various serious injury.
  • He contacted Gerard Malouf & Partners and was put into the care of our Specialists. 

This case involved a man who sustained injuries to his right and left knees and elbows after tripping on broken aluminum nosing on a stairway while exiting his local shopping centre. The shopping centre had failed to maintain the entry and exit and had no warning signs in place noting that the stairs were damaged. The elderly gentlemen tripped, falling forward and has been left significantly impaired as a result.

This man sought justice and contacted Gerard Malouf & Partners and was put into the care of one of our Accredited Specialists and Senior Associates, Jayne O’Sullivan who works in both medical negligence and public liability. Jayne and her team got to work by organizing for the case to be reviewed by one of our highly regarded workplace health and safety experts, who also has years of experience in the building industry.

In any event, where there is a risk of harm that is foreseeable, there should at least be warnings or notices in place to protect the patrons of the shopping centre, which was not done in this case and directly led to our clients accident.

“Our expert supported that not only was harm foreseeable in the circumstances but that it was clearly preventable, and it would not have been a significant cost for the shopping centre to maintain their egresses.”

Our Approach

Jayne’s team set to have our client assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon to assess our client’s damage. Our expert concluded that our client was significantly impaired by his injuries and as a result, limited in his mobility and ability to enjoy pre-injury activities. Our client was retired so there was no impact on his working ability, however, he was impacted in his role as a man of the house, unable to assist his wife in their day to day domestic duties. 

He found that he became fatigued more easily and would have to slow down and rest more often. Jayne and her team were very happy to see the matter settled and for this elderly gentleman to be able to return to a somewhat active lifestyle, albeit at a slower pace.

The Result

The case was ultimately successful and settled for $41,000. The client was grateful to receive compensation for his injuries, which resulted from the shopping centre’s negligence.

Jayne O'Sullivan Photo

Jayne O’ Sullivan

Senior Associate
I will never stop trying to get the absolute best result for my clients
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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