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Compensation for heavily pregnant customer who slipped as a result of water leaking from a display fridge at a supermarket

On or around March, 2014 our client was a heavily pregnant customer attending a large supermarket chain in Granville, Western Sydney for the purposes of shopping. Our client was at least 8 months pregnant at the time. Our client had intended on buying some pastry. As she walked down to turn into the dairy aisle to grab some milk she slipped and fell to the ground and was injured.

Our client slipped as a result of water leaking from a display fridge and onto the grey speckled floor. A mat had been placed on the floor at or near the source of the leak but the water had soaked through. Our client did not see the water before slipping.

It was alleged that this large supermarket chain owed our client a duty of care to exercise reasonable care to prevent her suffering an injury.

It was alleged that the risk of harm that existed at the time of the incident and which ultimately materialised, was the risk of customers being injured as a result of slipping on water that leaked from a display fridge onto the floor.

It was a risk of injury that was foreseeable and risk of harm that was not insignificant in the circumstances. It was alleged that the defendant through its employees failed to take reasonable care to prevent our client suffering injury, loss and damage.

After the injury the staff cordoned off the aisle whilst she was being treated. An ambulance was called to urgently attend to our client at the supermarket chain. It was determined by the ambulance representatives that as our client was walking into the frozen food aisle she slipped on a wet area of the floor. Both of her legs have gone into the splits and she fell heavily onto her buttocks.

She had immediate pain in her pelvis and both hips. She was taken to ambulance by Westmead Hospital. She was unable to bring her legs together and physically had to hold herself up by her arms. There was significant concern that she may have lost the baby as a result of the accident.

As a result of the accident, our client was bedridden until the birth of the baby and she could not weight bare. Her mother moved into her home to help and her husband took time off work to attend to family duties.

Following discharge from Westmead Hospital our client used the walking frame for six weeks. As a result of the heavy fall she suffered serious injuries to her pelvis, hips, lower back, neck, legs, psychological injury and shock. It was ascertained that she had a labral tear in her right hip which she was complaining off since the accident.

A letter of demand was sent to this supermarket chain requesting for copies of all information, documents and particulars concerning our client’s injury including CCTV Footage. Surprisingly the supermarket chain alleged that our client’s accident was not captured on CCTV Footage. Furthermore, they were not prepared to accept liability for negligence in causing our client’s injuries, losses and damage.

Our client was referred to further doctors and specialists for treatment including a neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon and a neurologist for treatment in relation to her continuing symptoms. After our client’s treatment had been completed and her condition had stabilised we arranged for her to be independently medically examined and assessed.

We launched legal proceedings against this supermarket chain in respect of our client’s injuries, losses and damage.

Particulars were provided to them to explain the basis of our client’s claim for permanent impairment, pain and suffering, past and future treatment expenses, past and future loss of wages, past and future loss of superannuation and care. The defendant’s legal representative arranged for our client to be medically examined and assessed.

The matter was listed for hearing before the court to determine the liability and medical issues in dispute between the parties.

Only a few days before the hearing the defendant decided to accept liability in respect of negligence in causing our client’s injury so that the matter could proceed on for assessment purposes.

Our medical evidence had indicated that our client would remain unfit for heavy manual handling activities and she required home help on an ongoing basis. The physical findings described by our client were consistent with her injury as were her symptoms, signs, incapacities and disabilities. It was found that she was suffering from permanent impairment to numerous parts of her body as a result of the injury.

Despite acknowledging our client’s injury, the defendant filed a defence disputing that it was negligent. It alleged that an average of 30,000 customers visited their Granville store each week.

Our client’s matter settled at the court hearing. Our client was awarded substantial compensation in damages in respect of her injuries, losses and damages, exclusive of legal costs.

Our client was very happy with the outcome and settlement of the claim particularly having regard to the fact that this large supermarket chain denied negligence in relation to her injury but accepted liability a few days before the hearing of the matter.

Conclusion:-

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a slip and fall at a supermarket premises such as our client, you may have a claim for compensation in negligence against the owners and/or occupiers of the premises who owe you a duty of care to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury whilst you are a legal entrant to the supermarket.

In this case our client was a heavily pregnant lady who suffered a slip and fall at a large supermarket chain in Granville as a result of water leaking from a display fridge onto the floor, causing her to slip and fall and suffer serious injuries. Our client received a substantial award of damages in compensation.

For a free no obligation consultation, please contact us on our toll free number 1800 004 878 so that an appointment can be arranged for you to attend our office to discuss your claim and to protect any legal rights that you may have against a supermarket chain arising from an accident.

© 2021 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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