A woman who slipped on a wet floor in a hotel has been awarded $94,533 after the accident caused her serious injuries in her left foot.
The plaintiff was attending a neurolinguistics course at the hotel when the incident occurred. It had been raining heavily during the day and witnesses claimed there were no signs to warn guests that the floor was slippery.
There were also allegedly no containers for people to store their wet umbrellas, which would have prevented individuals from carrying them across the foyer and leaving puddles.
Expert testimony claimed accidents could have been prevented in a number of ways, including placing umbrella wrap machines near the entrance, installing rubber-backed matting in walking areas and regularly inspecting the floor.
Plaintiff's reliability called into question
The hotel was ruled to have breached its duty of care to the plaintiff, resulting in serious injuries and an award of compensation.
However, the judge admitted that the plaintiff's credibility was hampered by the fact she appeared to be tailoring evidence to bolster her claim for damages.
"I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that her evidence was unreliable and unless corroborated by independent evidence (other than her current partner) I have approached her evidence with caution," said Associate Justice Joanne Harrison.
The plaintiff also made a substantial claim for non-economic losses, arguing that she continues to have problems since the accident. She said numbness in her injured foot once caused her to lose her balance, fall and hit her head.
According to the plaintiff, this second accident resulted in a brain injury, severe loss of memory and various other psychological ailments that have prevented her from working in the future.
Public liability claim damages
Medical experts testified there was unlikely a link between the first or second accidents and the plaintiff's resulting psychological and psychiatric problems.
Nevertheless, the woman will continue to have difficulties with prolonged sitting, squatting and walking on uneven ground or up and down steps. As such, Associate Justice Harrison awarded the plaintiff $21,000 for non-economic losses.
She will also receive $50,000 in future lost earnings, $20,800 for past economic losses and $2,733 for out-of-pocket expenses.
Have you suffered a slip, trip or fall in a public place? You may be entitled to compensation if you experienced significant injuries as a result of an accident.
Please contact a no-win, no-fee personal injury lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.