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Woman receives $190,000 after slip and fall in Inner West Sydney grocery store stairs

Case Overview

Our 59-year-old female client had attended a local grocery store in inner west Sydney for the purpose of grocery shopping when she slipped on water in the stairwell between the grocery store and the car park.

Our client was ignored by the staff and another customer had to call the ambulance for assistance. Our client came to us seeking our advice as she had been mistreated by staff and sustained significant soft tissue injuries to her hip and lower back.

Our Approach

The Public Liability Team at Gerard Malouf and Partners fought hard on the matter, as the Defendant initially denied the incident occurred.

Capitulated when provided with the ambulance record, the Defendant argued that the stairwell was not used by customers. They later attempted to argue that our client had spilled the water on the steps.

Even though the Defendant had not made any documentation of the fall, our team refuted every point that they raised by obtaining supportive objective evidence from other witnesses, such as the ambulance staff, attending a formal site view, where we observed that many customers used the stairwell, as the stairwell led out into the car park, and confirmed that the grocery store sold liquid products, such as bottles of water, which may have been a reasonable alternative source of the puddle.

The Result

We defended all allegations of our client’s credibility made by the Defendant and their Insurer, and successfully secured a settlement that covered the full physical injuries our client had sustained.

Sung-Gu Lee

Senior Associate
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

The compensation amount in a supermarket accident case can vary depending on the severity and impact of an injury. If an injury requires extensive medical care, limits your ability to work or severely impacts your quality of life you can expect a relatively large sum.

In general, in a public liability case you can claim damages for:

  • Immediate medical costs
  • Long-term medical costs
  • Non-economic loss
  • Economic loss

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



More Case Summaries

About Us
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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