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Port Macquarie shopper awarded substantial damages after slipping and falling on lifesavers left on the floor

Our client was a female who was lawfully shopping at a supermarket chain in port macquarie in June 2013 when she slipped and fell on a quantity of confectionary namely, lifesavers which had been spilt on the floor.

As a result of the accident, our client suffered serious injuries to her right knee, left shoulder, shock and a psychological injury.

Court proceedings were commenced against the supermarket chain alleging negligence in the following form:-

(a)Failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the premises were safe;

(b)Failing to adequately clean the floor of the premises;

(c)Failing to routinely inspect the floor of the premises so as to identify foreseeable risks of injury to entrants, including the Plaintiff;

(d)Failing to implement, or properly execute, a competent system of cleaning capable of detecting and minimising foreseeable risks of injury to entrants, including the Plaintiff;

(e)Failing to remove the Lifesavers from the floor in a prompt manner;

(f) Lifesavers had been spilt;

(g) Lifesavers;

(h) Lifesavers, from the floor.

The defendant denied all negligence and our client’s injuries, losses and damages.

Our client’s circumstances were complicated by the fact that many years beforehand she was involved in a significant motor vehicle accident in which she lost her left leg and therefore had to rely on the use of crutches to help her move about in her daily life.

On this occasion whilst she was shopping in June 2013 at this large supermarket chain in port macquarie our client was moving along an aisle of the premises when her crutch slipped on a quantity of confectionary namely, lifesavers which had been spilt on the floor and fell heavily causing her to suffer her serious injuries.

Our client continued to experience pain in her left shoulder and the most predominant feature was the pain in her right knee as well as the fingers on the left hand and thumb as she landed on both hands. After receiving treatment from her medical practitioner and being referred for appropriate x-rays, it was established by way of diagnosis that she suffered an aggravation of pre-existing osteoarthritis in the right knee and ongoing pathology in the left shoulder as a result of the accident.

As our client lived in the port macquarie area, we needed to arrange for her to be medically examined and assessed by various doctors and specialists for assessment purposes. All of those medico-legal assessment reports substantiated the nature of our client’s injuries, her continuing disabilities, her loss of enjoyment of life and how her continuing symptoms reduced her capacity to participate in normal, social, domestic, sporting and employment activities.

Once we had completed our investigations on the issue of liability, it was determined based upon the factual evidence, that there was no need to obtain a liability expert report in the matter in that the defendant conceded that the floor would have been slippery if it was contaminated with lifesavers. We were confident that based upon the liability evidence that we would succeed in establishing negligence against this large supermarket chain.

With respect to the medical evidence, there was sufficient medical reports from her treating doctors and specialists which also substantiated the nature of her ongoing symptoms to her right knee, left shoulder and left hand.

The defendant’s legal representatives on behalf of the supermarket chain arranged for our client to be medically examined and assessed by their Specialists. Those medical reports were not detrimental to the client’s claim.

Once the matter was listed for hearing before the district court in sydney, the defendant’s legal representatives participated in settlement discussions over a protracted period of time. They sought to downplay the quantum assessment of our client’s claim, but we held firm in our assessment of our client’s damages referable to the medical evidence and the nature and extent of her injuries, losses and damage.

Ultimately, prior to the hearing commencing, the defendant took a pragmatic view and settled the claim on the basis that there was a substantial award of damages in favour of our client as a result of the accident.

Conclusion:-

Our client was a lawful entrant at a large shopping centre/supermarket chain when she slipped and fell on lifesavers which had been left on the floor. It was our allegation that the defendant and/or their servants and agents fails to clean the floor of the premises, have it routinely inspected and failed to remove the lifesavers from the floor in a prompt manner.

As a result of the slip and fall, our client suffered serious injuries to her left hand, left shoulder and right knee.

We launched legal proceedings against the large supermarket chain in port macquarie alleging negligence in respect of her serious injuries, losses and damage.

Once we had assembled all of the liability and medical evidence, despite the defendant denying that our client was negligent in causing her injuries, losses and damages, prior to the hearing of the matter, they caved in to our demands and our client was awarded substantial damages in the matter.

If you are a pedestrian, lawful entrant, shopper at any private premises or even a large shopping centre and you suffer a slip and fall on any substance left on the floor, you may have a claim in negligence against the owner, occupier or even the cleaners of the premises as a result of them failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the premises were safe at the time.

You may as in this case, and subject to the medical evidence be entitled to a substantial award of damages for the defendant’s negligence.

Please feel free to contact us for advice and discussion of your matter and to review all of the liability and medical issues and to then give proper consideration to the legal options that you may wish to consider in respect of the circumstances surrounding your accident, so as to ensure that you follow the appropriate path for a successful outcome of your claim.

For a free no obligation consultation, please contact us on our toll free number 1300 768 780 so that an appointment can be arranged for you to attend to protect your legal rights in the matter.

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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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