Our client sought advice from our firm in relation to an accident that happened at a fruit market. As she was about to be served by a check out attendant the aisle closed and she was asked to go to another check out. She then moved to another check out and unfortunately slipped on water which was on the floor surface causing her to fall and suffer an injury to the ankle.
In what is condidered most unusual in public liability, the insurer had agreed to pay for some medical expenses prior to the client coming to see us however, surgery was needed and the insurer said they would pay for some expenses as long as the client signs the waiver to commence proceedings.
The client sought advice in accepting the minimal offer by the insurer. It was our firms’ view that any settlement would be minimal and a better result achieved by pursuing the matter.
Proceedings were commenced in the District Court against the fruit shop. Negligence was denied and a battle on negligence was imminent.
Expert evidence obtained in a form of an engineer to comment on the slipperiness of the floor surface together with medical evidence including the reports from orthopaedic specialist.
The defendants case was that it could not be held negligent suggesting there was a system of inspection in place. Our argument was that whatever system was in place was the fact that the water was present and ín close proximity to the employees of the fruit shop who should have been aware and noticed the water and made arrangements to clean it up and also warn shoppers of the dangers such as erecting a slippery when wet sign, none of this which took place.
A settlement conference was arranged and took place at the offices of the defendants lawyers. After a vigorous negotiations which dealt with both issues of slip & fall negligence and also quantum an excellent result was achieved and the matter settled in excess of $120,000.00.
Our client was delighted with the result given that if she had accepted the possible offer to settle at the early stages before she sought advice from our firm she may have only received a few thousand dollars, however as a result of pursuing the matter she has received an amount significantly higher. An extremely satisfying result for everyone and a happy client.