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Man receives $200,000 after a slip and fall incident

Case Overview

Our 63 year old male client was visiting a shopping centre in inner west Sydney for the purpose of grocery shopping when he slipped on a large puddle of water near the internal McDonald’s and fell to the ground. Our client came to us seeking our advice as he had sustained significant soft tissue injuries to his left shoulder, neck and lower back. 

The Public Liability Team at Gerard Malouf and Partners worked hard on the matter collating evidence in support of the injuries sustained, the impact it had on his life and the liability issues in the case. Our client was in receipt of the Disability Support Pension and received minimal assistance from his friends.

Our Approach

In particular, this matter was difficult to prove against the Defendant cleaners, as the cleaner was nearby, but was not visible in the CCTV footage. The CCTV footage that the shopping centre had provided was short and did not show the required long time period before the fall.

We successfully argued that the slip area was within the food court area by reviewing the CCTV footage, performing site views with our client and our liability expert and comparing the shopping centre to other similar venues. We further argued that the cleaner seemed to be within the area, but was not properly performing their cleaning duties, as we had spotted in the CCTV footage, a cleaning door room was left open and close at different time frames, without a person entering or leaving through the door. 

The Result

The team at Gerard Malouf and Partners worked hard to secure a settlement of $200.000, leaving our client amazed at the great result achieved.

Sung Gu Lee Photo

Sung-Gu Lee

Associate
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Slips, trips and falls that occur in a public place, such as a shopping mall, car park or supermarket, can lead to public claims.

However, you must be able to show that your accident was due to negligence on behalf of the individual or organisation responsible for ensuring your safety in that environment.

In other words, you need to prove that you were owed a duty of care and that this was breached. You must also have suffered damage or an injury as a result of the negligence.
 

Public liability refers to the responsibilities owners or occupants of a public space have to protect anyone who enters. If the owners or occupants fall short of these responsibilities, resulting in an injury, a case for compensation can be made.

Some of the most common incidents covered by public liability law include:

  • The food or drink from a restaurant makes you sick: The most common example of this type of public liability is food poisoning, however improperly disclosed allergens could also lead to litigation.
  • A slip and fall accident caused by negligence: Slip and fall incidents are especially common in busy public places such as playgrounds, schools, shopping centres, common walkways in buildings and outdoor event venues. They can result from negligent behaviour if poorly lit, uneven, unmarked or slippery surfaces are involved, amongst other reasons.
  • Injury caused by poor workmanship: If a product used by a space fails mechanically and causes an injury, a public liability claim can often be made. Examples include exploding gas bottles, poorly constructed furnishings and inadequate building structures. These cases may also be eligible for product liability litigation, if you decide to pursue both the property owner and the product manufacturer.
  • An attack by an animal while in a space: If the owners or occupants of a space fail to keep an animal, whether domestic or wild, contained as a result of negligence, you may have a potential case.

 

Following an initial meeting, the first task will be to establish the general facts of the case. This will include your medical diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed and documented by a doctor; and proof that the person or company at fault owed you a duty of care, which will need to be demonstrated. Together, this will show that your injury occurred when they breached that duty of care.

From there a further investigation will proceed—contacting and interviewing witnesses, speaking with expert consultants, and more—all in order to bolster the strength of your case even further. Only once this process is complete, and your claim can be demonstrated and proven in full, will the process move on to the next step.
 

Public liability claims enable you to recoup the financial and emotional costs of suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence. Defendants regularly offer monetary settlements to claimants, particularly if they acknowledge liability and believe they would lose in court.

But should you accept the settlement or proceed to the later stages of litigation instead, where a judge will have the final decision? Every case is different, but here are some of the factors you may wish to consider before making your choice:

  1. The size of the settlement
  2. The strength of your case
  3. Your patience levels
  4. Your lawyer’s advice

 

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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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