Why compensation was granted for slipping on a potato chip

Date: Dec 12, 2016

A recent case of a woman allegedly slipping on a potato chip in Woolworths resulted in her receiving compensation of about $580,000. Find out how Woolworths was found to be negligent and how Gerard Malouf & Partners’ public liability injury lawyers can be of help in slip and fall cases.

A potato chip causes a slip 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2012 on how Kathryn Strong, an amputee on crutches, claimed to have been going through Woolworths when she slipped because of a greasy potato chip on the floor. The High Court ruled that Woolworths was negligent in implementing a periodic inspection and cleaning system and awarded her compensation.

However, before it went to the High Court, the case went to the District Court of NSW and the Court of Appeal. All three courts ruled in favour of the plaintiff. But the High Court’s decision was different in that it emphasised the systematic weakness of the cleaning procedures at Woolworths, according to Lexology.

As a result of the slip, Strong claims to have suffered a serious spinal injury.

The evidence in a slip-and-fall claim 

Gerard Malouf & Partners’ lawyers have handled thousands slip and fall injury claims against major shopping centres and supermarkets, including Woolworths. As a result, we are well-aware of how negligent businesses can be in taking action on preventing slip and fall accidents.

Safe Work Australia states that it is the legal responsibility of the person or persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) to carry out the following measures to protect people from slipping and falling:

  • Identify hazards
  • Assess possible risks from these hazards
  • Create risk control procedures
  • Periodically review risk control procedures

Safe Work emphasises that eliminating risk is necessary insofar as it is reasonably practical and a likely risk. However, in our experience, reasonable risks that could have been avoided were often not correctly handled by PCBUs. Our clients have commonly slipped on liquid spills or other objects that they negligently failed to clean.

Our clients have suffered economic, physical and mental pain due to falling over such substances. However, damages can be gained from the costs of wage loss, pain and suffering and, most commonly, home care services that can be thousands of dollars. Due to such costs, we have successfully gotten them the compensation they deserve.

Contact us today to learn more about how you may be entitled to slip and fall compensation for a PCBU’s negligence.

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