The Plaintiff in this matter is a registered nurse who was on her way to work. She had stayed overnight at her friend’s house and, in the process of walking down the Defendant’s steep pebblecrete driveway, the Plaintiff fell as a result of the driveway being slippery due to rain and sap from a nearby tree.
As a result of the subject accident, the Plaintiff sustained a comminuted spiral fracture to the right tibia and fibula as well as a rotator cuff tear of the left shoulder. The Plaintiff subsequently developed some depression as a result of this incident. She was also no longer able to return to work and, accordingly, unable to meet her mortgage repayments and was forced to sell her house.
A liability report was obtained which confirmed the pebblecrete driveway was not a safe means of access to and from the premises. The report indicated the accident could have been prevented with the installation of a small flight of steps with a handrail along with the placement of warning signs advising of the hazard posed by the pebblecrete surface.
Medical evidence was obtained which indicated that some complications had arisen out of the fracture sustained to the right tibia and fibula in that there was incomplete union of the fracture. Accordingly, when assessing the claim, a component was included for the possibility of future surgery in the form of a bone graft.
The matter proceeded to an Informal Settlement Conference, however despite negotiations and the willingness of the Plaintiff to compromise the matter did not resolve.
Shortly following the Informal Settlement Conference the Defendant’s solicitors conveyed an Offer of Compromise for the amount of $170,000.00 (which would be on a plus costs basis). The Plaintiff provided instructions for that offer to be accepted and the matter settled accordingly.
In the circumstances, given the risk of proceeding to trial against the Defendant Government Department, the settlement was an excellent achievement.