We recently represented a Sydney woman in relation to a fall in her housing commission home.
Our client was walking down the stairs of her housing commission home, an old terrace house in Woolloomooloo, when she slipped on two separate occasions on the step and rolled down the stairs.
The terrace house contained an internal staircase which were in a poor and an unsafe condition due to the Defendant’s neglect. The steps, which were steep and narrow, and were affected by water penetration which was caused by the failure of the Defendant to repair the leak in the house. As a consequence, the stair case was damaged, the wall was soft and wet, the handrail was inadequately affixed to the wall and the treads of the stairs were soft and flexible underfoot.
The Defendant failed to fix the stair case despite our client’s constant complaints and her severe injuries which landed her in hospital on two occasions.
On her instructions, we commenced proceedings. We obtained expert evidence in relation to the stair case and the hand rail, obtained all of her clinical notes and had her medically examined and assessed by an occupational therapist. We served this all of this evidence on the Defendant.
We argued that at all material times the Defendant owed our client a duty of care as the owner of the premises to ensure that it kept the premises in reasonable repair for our client. We believed that the Defendant’s duty of care extended to ensuring that the water leak was fixed and any resultant damage was also fixed, this included the stair treads and the hand rail.
After commencing proceedings, we invited the Defendant to attend an informal settlement conference. At that conference we were able to resolve the claim to our Client’s satisfaction.
Gerard Malouf & Partners prides itself on its ability to evaluate liability issues, especially in public liability claims and advise our clients as to whether we believe there is a reasonable case to pursue without taking unnecessary and unreasonable risks. In all public liability cases, the first step in the process is to ensure that we are able to show that the defendant breached their duty of care and that they were negligent. Once this aspect of the claim has been established it becomes very straightforward to proceed with the claim with a view of trying to resolve it without the need to go to Court and incur unnecessary legal costs.
If you have been involved in an accident in a public place, a supermarket, a shopping centre or a department store and believe they were responsible for you sustaining injuries, it is important to ensure that you contact the specialised team at Gerard Malouf & Partners to advise you about pursuing a claim.