A Teacher receives $500,000 after a slip and fall on an open carriage

PUBLISHED 15 Feb 2021

In mid-2015, our client had traveled from New South Wales to Victoria with her students for a school excursion at an outdoor museum and historical experience venue. As part of the Australian historical experience, the group was traveling in an open carriage vehicle, which had large plastic curtains draped down the sides of the carriage to keep the passengers dry from the rain.

In order to alight from the carriage, our client assisted students by lifting and holding the heavy clear curtains, without the assistance of the venue’s staff members. Finally, she attempted to descend from the carriage, by holding the heavy clear curtains with both hands and stepping down from the carriage. Due to awkward motion, she lost her balance, fell from the raised height of the carriage, and landed heavily on the ground on her shoulder.

Our client came to us for advice in 2018, as her shoulder injury was not resolved, even after an operation, she felt extremely restricted. Our client had previously instructed lawyers who advised that they would not assist with bringing the claim against the Victorian company, due to the complexity of the cross-vesting laws. Our team worked hard and proceedings were commenced shortly after in County Court of Victoria, as the three (3) year limitation period was about to expire.

Following the incident, our client was initially incapacitated for any work for a period of six (6) months, then returned to work and gradually increased her working hours to full-time. However, our client was struggling to perform her work duties as a teacher due to her shoulder injury and would experience aggravated symptoms following work. Also, our client was struggling to perform her domestic household duties and relied on family and friends.

The Public Liability team at Gerard Malouf & Partners obtained expert reports from an expert engineer who thought that the existence of the clear curtains in combination with the clear narrow step down and the rain earlier that day complicated the egress from the tram and therefore was deemed as a hazard.

Once we had obtained our medical and expert evidence in support of our client’s case and prepared the matter in compliance with various NSW and Victoria laws, we were able to negotiate with the defendant and achieve an optimal result for our client. Our client was pleased with the result as it would enable her to reduce her working hours and obtain further treatment for her shoulder injury.

If you have been injured as a result of a fall, whilst visiting another state or country for work purposes, contact Gerard Malouf and Partners on 1800 004 878 for a complimentary free consultation to assess your legal rights and to provide you with free advice.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.