Man Falls in Collapsing Hole Outside Sports Club

PUBLISHED 04 Mar 2014

Our client was a visitor to a sport club. He had been there in the evening however had exited the building and went to an outdoor area beside the path on a grassy area. Our client went to the area to try to get better mobile coverage, as he stepped onto that grassed area in the dark, a hole formed under him and he fell into the hole. It had been raining at the time and the hole was filled with water. The hole was not visible when the client stepped onto the area. A client was in fear of his life as there was nothing to hold onto. It was fortunate for him that other patrons saw this happen and ran to his assistance by saving him.

The plaintiff suffered some physical injuries however, as a result of the fall he suffered nervous shock and anxiety and developed post traumatic stress disorder.

The injury had a significant effect on his life.

Our client instructed our firm to sue the club in slip fall public liability negligence.

Negligence in the matter was not easy due to the circumstances in which the accident took place. The matter was vigorously defended by the club in which negligence was denied on the basis that the hole was not present prior to the accident and they could not have been aware of the problems that may have existed where the hole was and could not have done anything to warn the plaintiff of the sudden collapse, an argument which had merit.

Our investigations led us to discover that the hole was an underground water storage tank which had a reinforced concrete lid. Again the cause of the collapse was causing some concerns given that the area had been rectified after the accident and evidence at the time was essentially non existent.

Notwithstanding, the difficulties we faced, the matter was vigorously pursued and investigations undertaken and the client was assessed by our expert doctors at no cost to him.

Discussions took place about settlement at a conference held at the defendants lawyers office. At first the matter did not resolve and as the defendants offer was not acceptable in the circumstances. The matter was listed for a hearing however further discussions continued prior to the hearing in an attempt to resolve the matter.

Notwithstanding the difficulties of the matter, the matter successfully resolved for a sum in excess of $170,000.00 representing an excellent settlement given the possible outcome which in this case were by no means certain if a judge had to determine the issue. Nevertheless with advice from experienced counsel and the client accepting our advice an excellent result was achieved in a most challenging and difficult case.

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