Mr AWS attended a shopping centre for the purposes of undertaking his general grocery shopping.
Upon parking his car he entered the shopping centre, retaining a parking ticket, and proceeded to walk towards the Supermarket.
As he approached the Supermarket he noticed a puddle of dark colored liquid which seemed to be either Coke or Coffee.
Walking around the puddle he proceeded to go to the Supermarket and attend to his shopping, this took approximately forty minutes. He retained his receipt.
Upon exiting the Supermarket, Mr AWS traversed the same route by which he had entered the shopping centre, so as to go back to the car park and go home.
As a significant amount of time had lapsed, he had forgotten all about the spillage and slipped and fell on that spillage he had previously noticed. He suffered significant injury to himself.
The matter was litigated as against the Cleaning Company and the Shopping Centre, whereby an ultimate resolution was received in excess of $100,000.00. It was clear in the circumstances that even though Mr AWS had previously noticed the spill, the delay in the attention of the shopping centre and the Cleaning Company in removing the hazard from the Common Property was clearly negligent.
In relation to the responsibility of the shopping centre, we were able to show the following:
1. That the spill had been there for a reasonable amount of time.
2. The response of the shopping centre was unreasonable given the length of time that the spill was there.
3. That they were responsible for the injuries to Mr AWS. We were able to show all of this due to two clear pieces of evidence, these were:
1. The parking docket showing at which time Mr AWS entered the shopping centre
2. The Supermarket receipt showing at which time Mr AWS had concluded his shopping.
Without these two pieces of evidence it would have been extremely difficult to show how long the spill had been there and thus show that the response time of the shopping centre and the Cleaning Company was unreasonable and thus caused the injuries to our client.
The other interesting thing about this matter is that while the client did receive an amount in excess of $100,000.00 much of the damages awarded to him were not on account of the injuries suffered to himself, but of the impact that the injuries he sustained had on his family.
Mr AWS was the primary carer for a family member who was ultimately placed into a Nursing Village on account of our client’s inability to look after them. We were able to recover the costs of the Nursing Village.
From this matter we take a couple of key points home, which will greatly assist in pursuing rights as against Shopping Centers, in particular, against any person who is causative of your injuries.
These points are as follows:
1. Evidence surrounding specific times and nature of the spill or substance causing your injury is important.
2. Your damages are not the only thing that the Court assesses. The impact on others is also assessed.