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Lady compensated $155,000 following a slip and fall at a fruit and vegetable shop

Case Overview
  • Our client slips and fell when she stepped on grapes on the floor at her local shopping centre whilst purchasing groceries.
  • The team at Gerard Malouf took on the case, performing a site review of the location, analysing the incident, gathering strong liability evidence and getting our client assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon and an occupational therapist.
  • We were able to settle the case before trial and got a compensation of $155k for our client.

In May 2019, our client had attended her local shopping centre to purchase some groceries. She was walking through a fruit and vegetable shop that had temporary display trolleys extending into the shopping centre when she stepped on grapes, which had fallen on the floor.

Consequently, her foot slipped and she fell heavily onto her right elbow and suffered a small laceration. Following her fall, she was suffering from pain in her right elbow, right shoulder and right hip.

She attended to her general practitioner as the pain in her right shoulder persisted. Accordingly, she underwent some investigations including x-rays and ultrasounds. She then attended an orthopaedic surgeon who diagnosed her with an acute chronic rotator cuff tear and recommended treatment including physiotherapy, steroid injections and possibly surgery.

"Our client was understandably upset due to the cost of medical treatment and her ongoing pain, particularly as she led a very healthy and active lifestyle prior to her fall."

Antonin Sebesta
Our Approach

Our client was understandably upset due to the cost of medical treatment and her ongoing pain, particularly as she led a very healthy and active lifestyle prior to her fall. This is despite her having suffered a significant pre-existing right shoulder injury a number of years earlier. The team at Gerard Malouf and Partners investigated her claim and commenced proceedings on her behalf against the fruit and vegetable shop. We strengthened her case by performing a site review of the location, analysing the incident, gathering strong liability evidence and getting our client assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon and an occupational therapist.

Following the gathering and exchanging of evidence, the parties agreed to participate in an informal settlement conference in order to attempt an efficient and just resolution of the matter. However, the parties were unable to come to an agreement at the conference and therefore the matter was set down for hearing.

We continued to prepare the case strongly in anticipation of running the matter to trial. A couple of weeks prior to the hearing, after further negotiation, the Defendant agreed to compensate our client in the sum of $155,000. Our client was very happy with the outcome over which she had retained control in contrast to the uncertainty of litigation. This compensation has given her the opportunity to seek further medical treatment as she requires and to be compensated for her pain and suffering.

The Result

Thanks to our involvement, the Defendant agreed to compensate our client in the sum of $155,000.

Antonin Sebasta Lawyer

Antonin Sebesta

Senior Associate
As a plaintiff lawyer, I strive to be empathetic, communicative and most of all to achieve results for our clients in the least possible time and with the best possible outcome
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Slips, trips and falls that occur in a public place, such as a shopping mall, car park or supermarket, can lead to public claims.

However, you must be able to show that your accident was due to negligence on behalf of the individual or organisation responsible for ensuring your safety in that environment.

In other words, you need to prove that you were owed a duty of care and that this was breached. You must also have suffered damage or an injury as a result of the negligence.
 

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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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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