A woman advised by a solicitor many years before an accident occurred, is relying on that advice in her plea to be heard in the matter of a public liability claim. The Plaintiff experienced a collision while walking in a shopping centre car park in 2011, colliding with a weight and height machine obscured by a pillar and falling to the ground. From there a series of events led to an ongoing cycle of pain, disability, and personal loss. Ultimately, the Defendant is now claiming she waited too long to claim, but she insists her previous solicitor’s advice is what caused the initial delay.
In May 2011, the Plaintiff was walking in the Lower Level of a car park in the Chadstone Shopping Centre, towards the exit, when she ran into a machine hidden by a pillar and fell to the ground. She received serious injuries, including fracture of her shoulder and tearing of muscles and tendons, requiring surgery in hospital. Her husband advised the Defendant of her injury, her son took photos of the scene, and requests were made for video footage.
However, due to the nature of the Plaintiff’s injury and other events in her life, including considerable health issues, trouble with her son in work-related injuries, and bypass surgery of her brother, among other things, delays were created in the claim against the shopping centre for damages. The Plaintiff says she didn’t worry, because a former solicitor had told her years previous that the statute of limitations was six years. At the time of this advise, it was indeed six years, but had subsequently been halved in the years intervening, due to the adoption of the Ipp Report and the changes recommended. The Plaintiff at no time had come across information to the contrary of her held belief that she had six years to claim.
As a result, as the six years drew to a close and the couple sought to claim, they were informed that the limitations was reduced to three years. However, in light of the advise being given earlier by their solicitor (who since had died) the Court adjudged that the failure to claim within the three year window was not the fault of the Plaintiff, and that an extension should be granted. One hopes she receives the compensation for the public liability claim in regard to her injuries and costs related thereof.
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